(CN) – With a trial date fast approaching, financial statements indicate that Pfizer may have paid $450 million to settle a long-running dispute over the enzyme discovery that led to the multibillion dollar drug Celebrex.
Daniel Simmons, professor of biochemistry and chemistry at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, claims to have isolated the COX-2 enzyme in the early 1990s. He said Monsanto – which has since merged with Pfizer – then breached an agreement and used the enzyme to develop Celebrex without him.
After years of troubled discovery, the parties were set to go to trial later this month. Pfizer said Tuesday that it reached an “amicable” settlement on “confidential terms.”
“As part of the resolution, BYU will establish the Dan Simmons Chair in recognition of Dr. Simmons’ lifelong work and contributions towards advancing human health in a number of important areas including oncology, pain and Alzheimer’s,” the drugmaker said in a statement.
Neither side would confirm the amount of the settlement, but a footnote in Pfizer’s recent quarterly report mentions “a $450 million charge in connection with an agreement-in-principle to settle a lawsuit by Brigham Young University related to Celebrex and charges for hormone-replacement therapy litigation,” according to the the quarterly report, as reported first by the Associated Press.
Pfizer added that it is “pleased to resolve this matter and the uncertainty of litigation and to be in a position to support Dr. Simmons’ research efforts at BYU.”