29/02/2012 - 10:14

Sirtex ends legal stoush

29/02/2012 - 10:14

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Sirtex ends legal stoush

BIOTECHNOLOGY company Sirtex Medical has ended its long-running legal dispute with the University of Western Australia and Bruce Gray, after it was paid the final installment in its $5.8 million cost recovery.

The company said 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 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 last week the $500,000 payment by Dr Gray represented the final step in the proceedings.

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