Pfizer is Suing an Employee Who Allegedly Stole Covid-19 Vaccine Secrets

Posted on

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is suing a departing employee who the company believes has stolen Covid-19 vaccine secrets.

The company has sued a longtime employee for allegedly stealing “scores” of confidential documents, including some related to its COVID-19 vaccine, as she prepared to jump to a competitor.

Pfizer’s complaint was filed earlier this week in San Diego federal court.

According to the company, Chun Xiao Li breached her confidentiality agreement by uploading more than 12,000 files without permission to her personal accounts and devices from her company-issued laptop.

These alleged materials include a Sept. 24 “playbook” containing internal assessments and recommendations about the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer’s relationship with its German vaccine partner, and presentations related to cancer antibodies.

Li, an associate director of statistics, tried repeatedly to cover her tracks, even providing a “decoy” laptop to fool it into thinking what she did with the files, said Pfizer.

She “has misled Pfizer about what she took, how she took it, when and why she did it, and where those files (and possibly others) can be found,” the company said.

Li is resigning after 15 years at the drug maker. She has been offered to join Xencor Inc, a California clinical-stage company focusing on treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases, on
Nov. 29.

On Tuesday U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo temporarily blocked Li from using Pfizer’s trade secrets.

Disclaimer: We have no position in any of the companies mentioned and have not been compensated for this article.

Daily updates