A federal jury in Boston, USA, has returned a verdict in favour of Edward Lifesciences’ CardiAQ in a lawsuit filed against a former service provider, Neovasc. The jury found that Neovasc breached the non-disclosure agreement between the parties, misappropriated CardiAQ’s trade secrets, and breached its duty of honest performance to CardiAQ.
The jury also awarded damages of US$70 million for trade secret misappropriation.
CardiAQ co-founders Arshad Quadri, and J Brent Ratz hired Neovasc in 2009 to provide tissue processing and valve assembly services for its transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) program. These services were covered under a non-disclosure agreement. While Neovasc was working for CardiAQ, Neovasc began working on its own TMVR program, but, according to a press release, failed to disclose this to CardiAQ. After discovering a Neovasc patent publication in late 2011, CardiAQ initiated this litigation in 2014. Edwards acquired CardiAQ in 2015.
“Through many years of dedicated work with Quadri, we were able to develop an extensive base of knowledge, make important advancements and create the CardiAQ transcatheter mitral valve to help patients in need who are not well-served by therapies available today,” says Ratz, who today serves as vice president of research and development with the CardiAQ-Edwards TMVR program. “We are proud of this foundational work and grateful that the jury recognised these contributions to the developing field of transcatheter mitral valve replacement.”
According to the release, the jury also made two factual determinations for matters that the judge is expected to decide at a later time. The jury found that Neovasc engaged in unfair or deceptive acts or practices, and, with respect to CardiAQ’s claim that Quadri and Ratz should be added as inventors to a Neovasc patent, the jury found that Quadri and Ratz contributed to the conception of the patent.