HACKENSACK (CN) - An organic chemist who says he invented a soon-to-be-released "miracle drug for epilepsy" was fired so the pharmaceutical companies that employed him could keep the profits, Dr. Yong Moon Choi claims in Bergen County Court.
After earning his doctorate training under a "famous Nobel Prize recipient," Dr. Choi says he became "highly sought by various pharmaceutical companies."
He claims he led operations in China and Korea for the Yukong Corporation.
In 1996, Choi says, he invented and patented drugs for several psychiatric and physiological conditions, including YKP 509, which he claims "has been hailed by many experts in the field as the miracle drug for epilepsy."
A year later, the company where he worked changed its name to SK Corp.
Johnson & Johnson offered it a multimillion-dollar contract to license and distribute the medication worldwide, Choi says.
He claims Johnson & Johnson already has paid SK $9 million, and that SK stands to receive 10% of the first $400 million that Johnson & Johnson earns, and a larger percentage of any additional profits.
Choi says that after the deal went through, Johnson & Johnson gave him a plaque recognizing that it was his invention and promising "epochal compensation" in the future.
But on Dec. 26, 2006, Choi says, the executive vice president of SK gave him a rude and belated Christmas present, telling him the company expected him to retire. Choi says the timing "correlated almost exactly with the expected commercialization of YKP 509."
The drug's release was subsequently delayed; its application with the FDA was filed in October, and the med is to be released in the "next few months," according to the complaint.
Choi sued all of pharmaceutical companies he worked with - as well as J&J subsidiary Ortho-McNeil - alleging breach of contact, conspiracy and fraud.
He is represented by B.J. Kim of Fort Lee, N.J.
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