Wednesday, May 2, 2012
To celebrate Mayday 2012, Pfizer, Inc., announced its settlement of a legal dispute with Brigham Young University ("BYU") and chemistry Professor Daniel Simmons that involved, among other issues, who invented celecoxib, a small molecule drug better known as Celebrex. Here is the NPR story about the settlement (for which I was interviewed). This remarkable COX-2 inhibitor, whose full molecular name is 4 - [5 - (4 - methylphenyl) - 3 - (trifluoromethyl)pyrazol - 1 - yl]benzenesulfonamide, is a sulpha non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug ("NSAID") that has earned Pfizer approximately $35 billion in revenue so far. The legal settlement appears to involve a payment of $450 million (a charge disclosed in Pfizer's SEC filings) to BYU and Simmons, as well as BYU endowing the Dan Simmons Chair to honor Professor Simmons' scientific contributions. Pfizer may have decided that taking the bitter pill of a massive settlement payment to BYU would relieve further legal aches and pains.