As I was reading the recent article “Incyte seeks billions after worker allegedly walks off with cancer drug secrets”, it got me thinking about IP protection and how ELNs can protect IP.
The gist of the article is that Incyte’s director of pharmacology resigned and, in the three months that he continued to work at Incyte, collected clinical trial data that he took his new company, Flexus Biosciences, which was then acquired by BMS for an astounding $1.25 billion. According to court documents, the director provided Flexus details about the molecular structure of Incyte’s IDO-1 inhibitor.
Most likely, this proprietary data was stored in an electronic clinical trial management system. One would be correct to wonder “but I thought e-systems prevented this kind of maleficence”. Electronic systems offer an array of protections against theft.
- As an enterprise system capable of capturing data from every group in the drug discovery process, the E-WorkBook platform organizes and collates data into a single searchable system that facilitates patent writing
- Through granular system’s permissions the E-WorkBook platform restricts access to sensitive information and makes it easy to revoke access, too
If IP is suspected of being stolen, the E-WorkBook platform can help prove the theft:
- The E-WorkBook platform provides un-editable audit trails that show who accessed content and when they accessed the content – even if they open the content simply as read-only
- The E-WorkBook platform offers fast responses to court requests for documents – in the Incyte case almost 50,000 documents were submitted, imagine trying to accomplish that with paper processes!
In the end, however, electronic systems are only as good as the business process on which they are founded. Incyte’s former director alledgedly circumvented the protections and auditing of the electronic system by misleading his colleagues while demanding they provide him with clinical trial records.