Renee Kaswan, a University of Georgia veterinary researcher in the 1980s, discovered Restasis and then discovered the drug was effective at treating dry eye in animals. Big Pharma giant Allergan got wind of the drug and purchased the rights to use it on humans, but the drug didn't have FDA approval yet.
As Allergan hoped, that changed in 2002. The FDA approved Restasis and Allergan has today earned greater than a billion dollars on the drug, one of its top-selling eye-care offerings.
But Kaswan and others say that Allergan negotiated a "bad deal" with the foundation, causing it to gain just $72 million rather than $294 million for its contributions. Kaswan also said the deal cost her $100 million.
But along the way, Allergan has been keeping secrets, and the company has gone to considerable lengths to keep the documents that detail the deal it struck with the University of Georgia Research Foundation sealed. According to court documents, Allergan said the "commercially sensitive documents" would cause it to suffer greatly if they were unsealed.
Nevertheless, Judge David Sweat said he would now begin the process of unsealing the majority of the documents.
- read the story in the Atlanta Business Chronicle