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Pfizer settles Celebrex lawsuit with BYU.

Byline: Alanna Byrne

Pfizer Inc. will pay $450 million to settle a six-year lawsuit filed by Brigham Young University (BYU) over the development of the anti-inflammatory drug Celebrex, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday.

The prolonged legal battle centered on a single enzyme, one that was instrumental in the development of anti-arthritis drug Celebrex. BYU's suit claimed that chemistry professor Daniel Simmons discovered the COX-2 enzyme in the early Cy90s, allowing for the development of "super aspirin," which would treat inflammation with fewer gastrointestinal side effects.

According to the university, it entered into a research agreement with Monsanto Co.--later acquired by Pfizer--to investigate "super aspirin." After Celebrex's development, however, Simmons never received acknowledgement or compensation for his contributions. Pfizer denied the university's charges.

BYU stood to gain $9.7 billion in Celebrex royalties and billions more in punitive damages at a jury trial, scheduled to start May 29 in Salt Lake City. In light of the settlement, the university plans to endow a Dan Simmons chair to the professor's accomplishments.

In a statement, Pfizer said it was "pleased to resolve this matter and the uncertainty of litigation and to be in a position to support Dr. Simmons' research efforts at BYU."

Read more from The Associated Press.

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Publication:Inside Counsel Breaking News
Date:May 2, 2012
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