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U. of Kansas Researchers Win Credit for 2 Cancer-Drug Patents

The University of Kansas and two of its researchers have won a lawsuit claiming that the researchers should be listed as co-inventors on two patents used in making a valuable cancer drug. The suit, filed against the National Institutes of Health and the drug’s manufacturer, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, said that Valentino Stella, a professor of pharmaceutical chemistry, and his research assistant, Wanda Waugh, worked with a National Cancer Institute researcher, Shanker Gupta, to develop a way to maintain the stability of the key compound in the drug Velcade, which is used in treating blood cancer. But only Dr. Gupta’s name ended up on the two patents. After the university sued in federal court, the case was decided by a three-member binding-arbitration panel. The case has been closely watched because the federal government does not have clear rules for determining who gets credit for inventions to which both government employees and others have contributed.

Ms. Waugh has since retired from the university.

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