In its complaint, Sloan-Kettering said it sold a portion of the royalties to fund research and operations, but retains the right to sue for underpayment, Reuters writes, noting that third-quarter global sales of Neupogen and Neulasta were $1.1 billion. For its part, "Amgen denies the allegations in the complaint filed today by Sloan-Kettering and we plan to vigorously defend our position," Amgen spokeswoman Mary Klem wrote to Reuters.
Meanwhile, Northwestern University's ownership of the key ingredient in Pfizer's Lyrica paid off handsomely - the university sold a portion of royalty rights to the drug for $700 million, The Chicago Tribune reports. Northwestern chemists were the first to synthesize the chemical compound pregabalin, which is the basis of Lyrica. The drug is used to treat nerve pain associated with diabetes, shingles and fibromyalgia.
The university, which will continue to collect some royalties, sold the rights to Royalty Pharma, which specializes in buying royalty rights from research universities and drugmakers, such as AstraZeneca. Northwestern has been using some of its bonanza to fund its drive to become the nation's top nanotechnology research center. The university has vowed to hire more scientific superstars in the coming year, relying on the prestige of its nanotech team and cash from royalty payments to attract more talent, the Tribune writes.