WASHINGTON–A U.S. judge charged five people Wednesday with trying to steal trade secrets from the British pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Of the five, two worked at a GSK research center in Upper Merion, Pennsylvania. The indictment says the five suspects tried to steal secrets from the company’s work in biopharmaceuticals, mainly in products to treat cancer and other grave diseases. Three of the suspects, identified as Yu Xue, Tao Li and Yan Mei, created a company in mainland China called Renopharma in a bid to resell the stolen trade secrets, the indictment says. Yu was regarded as one of the top protein biochemists in the world, the indictment states. Peter Zeidenberg, a lawyer for Yu, said she has pleaded not guilty and denies the allegations, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The paper added lawyers for the remaining suspects could not be reached, did not respond or declined to comment.
If found guilty, the five face prison terms and fines, and would have to pay damages to the company.