In a complicated trade secret misappropriation case involving an evolving cast of characters, United States First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of trade secret misappropriation claims between former drug development partners. However, the First Circuit found that the district court abused its discretion by denying the plaintiff’s motion to file an amended complaint and consequently vacated the dismissal of trade secret claims against one of the defendant’s U.S. affiliate. In doing so, the Court was forced to explore the often misunderstood “narrow exception” to Rule 54(b)’s finality rule.
The plaintiff, Amyndas, is a Greek biotechnology firm that researches and develops therapeutics targeting a part of the immune system known as the complement system. In 2015, Amyndas entered into a confidential disclosure agreement (CDA) with a Danish biotech firm, Zealand, to develop treatments targeting this complement system. The following year, the parties entered into a second CDA. products as those pursued during its collaboration with Zealand. As part of its collaboration with Amyndas, Alexion requested and received certain confidential information about Amyndas’s complementary therapeutic research, including details about Amyndas’s intellectual property, planned clinical trials, platform and collaboration network.