Sirtex ends UWA, Gray legal proceedings

22/02/2012 - 15:01

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Biotechnology company Sirtex Medical said today that its long-running legal dispute with the University of WA and Bruce Gray has ended, after it was paid the final instalment in its $5.8 million cost recovery.

The company said that Dr Gray, who was its founder and former chairman, had made a final payment of $500,000 to cover its legal costs. This was on top of $2.56 million already paid by Dr Gray.

In addition, UWA has previously paid $3.25 million to cover a portion of Sirtex’s legal costs.

The legal dispute was initiated in 2004 by UWA, which claimed an interest in Sirtex’s cancer treatment technology because it was partly developed while Dr Gray was an employee of the university.

At stake was Dr Gray’s 30 per cent shareholding in the company, valued at the time at about $90 million.

The Federal Court dispute resulted in a number of cross-claims and appeals to higher courts.

Sirtex successfully defended the proceedings brought by UWA and was successful in a cross-claim against Dr Gray.

The dispute also resulted in Dr Gray leaving the board of Sirtex, which has become a profitable business after commercialising its Sirtex cancer treatment.

In the year to June 2011, the Sydney-based company generated total sales of $73 million and reported a net profit of $11.5 million.

Sirtex said today the $500,000 payment by Dr Gray represented the final step in the proceedings.

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