Ashim Mitra at Overland Park, Kan., January 23, 2019. (Photo: Keith Myers / AP)
A pharmacy professor accused of "forced labor" by students secretly sold the research of a student on his own, defrauding the university that occupied him for millions of people, according to allegations in a complaint filed on Tuesday.
The University of Missouri in Kansas City claims that Achim Mitra pulled $ 1.5 million unduly from the sale of the student's work, The Kansas City Star reported that Mitra could generate additional royalties of $ 10 million over the next five years.
UMKC claims that this money is legitimately owned by the university, as the former student, Kishore Cholkar, developed the work while he was employed as a research assistant by the university.
The lawsuit alleges that Mitra stole and "secretly sold Dr. Cholkar's research" to a US-based company in the Virgin Islands, Auven Therapeutics, reported KCUR, which then sold it to Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, India, for $ 40 million plus royalties.
The two companies are also referred to as "charged in prosecution, accused of evading the university to avoid sharing profits." Also named: the wife of Mitra, Ranjana, accused of having participated in the alleged plot.
In August, Sun Pharmaceutical announced that the Food and Drug Administration authorized the placing on the market of a drug called "dry eye" called Cequa. This drug uses what the university has called "revolutionary" nanotechnology to provide drugs to the eye.
The lawsuit seeks to restore UMKC's alleged property on the drug and to include the name of Cholkar on the patent, according to Star magazine.
Last fall, Mitra had been the subject of a thorough review when the newspaper had announced that it had been pressuring graduate Indian students for them to serve food. in his evenings, tend his lawn and take care of his dog – what one student described as "forced labor".
Mitra resigned from the university in January, a day before the scheduled hearing to determine her future job, the Star reported.
In a statement to media, Mitra said that he could "unequivocally prove" that he had conceived the invention himself, claiming that Cholkar's work was focused on "d & # 39; other aspects of the Cyclosporine formulation "after filing the patent.
"It is clear that he and UMKC are now trying to build on the tireless efforts that I and others have made to make it a success," Mitra wrote.
In a statement to KCUR, the university said that she "looks forward to vigorously pursuing these claims in court."
Read the full Kansas City Star report.
Follow Josh Hafner on Twitter: @joshhafner
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