Former Unilife employee admits that his whistleblower suit lacked merit in legal settlement

Unifill prefilled syringe--Courtesy of Unilife

A former Unilife ($UNIS) employee apologized to the company for falsely accusing the company of misleading investors in press releases, and agreed to make payments to settle a countersuit filed against him following his failed whistleblower lawsuit.

In the 2013 whistleblower suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Talbot Todd Smith said that Unilife falsely stated in press releases that its syringes were made in accordance with FDA validation standards.

But he just recanted that allegation in the release announcing the settlement of Unilife's countersuit, saying, "I would like to correct issues arising from claims I brought against Unilife. I now understand that there were no violations of FDA regulations during my tenure at Unilife. In addition, in the summer of 2011, Unilife issued press releases which stated that they had begun shipments of validated Unifill product to customers. I now understand that the production process was in fact validated. Claims I brought were made in error and I apologize to Unilife, its shareholders, business partners and employees."

Unifill is one of the company's drug delivery devices. According to the company website, the Unifill prefilled syringe is both a primary drug container and needle containment system, as it features an automated needle retraction mechanism that kicks in when a full dose is delivered.

"From the outset Unilife has asserted that Mr. Smith's claims were entirely without merit and unfairly damaging to our Company and our shareholders," said Unilife general counsel John Ryan in a statement. "We are also pleased that in addition to apologizing to Unilife, Mr. Smith agreed to make a payment to the Company to settle our claims against him, that he received no payment as part of the resolution and dismissal, and that his attorney received only a small portion of her fees from our insurer. With this case now behind us, we look forward to focusing our resources fully on the growth of our business."

In July, Unilife launched the Imperium line of instant patch pumps for the delivery of insulin. Unilife boasts partnerships with several industry players. It recently signed signed a deal with AbbVie ($ABBV), under which the drug delivery company will receive $5 million in return for providing the pharma giant exclusive access to the Unifill Finesse prefilled syringe and the LISA reusable auto-injector for use with targeted therapies in the Big Pharma's autoimmune disease portfolio.

- read the release