Topical treatments to remedy chronic dry eye disorder, Restasis® and Optimmune®, were originally developed by Dr. Renee Kaswan in conjunction with The University of Georgia Research Foundation (UGARF). The University of Virginia ranks Restasis® among the top university inventions that changed the world, and it has generated over $1 billion in sales.
The University of Georgia and assignee, Allergan, in secret negotiations, struck a deal which deprived UGA of over $200 million in royalties that they would have received from their original contract with Allergan. By acting in contradiction to its own policies and instigating civil litigation, UGA and Allergan have tried to deprive Dr. Kaswan of her rights in her invention.
The actions of the University of Georgia, the University of Georgia Research Foundation, and Allergan are a case in point for the need for reform in the academic intellectual property arena. This case and the accompanying litigation has deprived UGA, the state of Georgia and its taxpayers much needed funds, sullied the reputation of this prestigious institution and disenfranchises the faculty researcher who made the discovery.
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