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Medytox publishes full text of USITC’s initial determination against Daewoong

Medytox on Monday released a file containing the full text of the US International Trade Commission’s initial determination against Daewoong in a trade dispute between the two South Korean pharmaceutical companies. The document is 274 pages long, and Medytox said it would allow individual readers to make their own judgments about the case.

Daewoong said last week that the ITC’s decision was groundless.

Medytox and Daewoong are embroiled in a high-profile battle over the former’s claim that the latter stole the former’s botulinum toxin strain.

The two have recently escalated their tit-for-tat, with each offering contrasting interpretations in response to the USITC’s initial determination.

The USITC has so far advised a 10-year sales ban on Daewoong’s botulinum neurotoxin product DWP-450, variably known as Jeuveau and Nabota, saying Daewoong misappropriated Medytox’s trade secrets.

The document contains exhaustive background information, and it also explains the USITC’s investigation methods and subsequent findings.

The document said the trade authority had determined that Medytox owned a specific botulinum toxin strain and that strain was indeed a trade secret.

“The staff agrees with complainants ... that the Medytox BTX strain is genetically distinguishable from other Hall A-hyper strains, and commercially valuable,” the determination said.

It also explained that from 1995 to late 2008, Daewoong had distributed Allergan’s Botox in Korea. Upon the termination of that contract, it said, Daewoong needed an alternative BTX product. During this time, the atmosphere at Daewoong was such that it pushed employees to “do anything” to resolve the issue, and it was around this period that former Medytox researcher Lee Byung-kook was approached with an offer to join Daewoong, the document said.

Daewoong, for its part, highlighted different portions of the determination in an effort to prove the trade commission guilty of “self-contradiction.”

Among the passages cited by Daewoong was: “In any event, while it is clear that Dr. BK Lee had access to Medytox’s strain, no evidence was presented to show when and how a specific quantity of Medytox’s strain went missing.”

Daewoong on Monday reiterated its opposition to what it called the USITC’s “biased” decision.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (
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Korea Herald daum