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Pfizer claims that a leaving employee took confidential files containing Covid vaccine secrets

Pfizer Inc. has sued a longstanding employee for allegedly taking "scores" of private information, including those linked to the company's COVID-19 vaccine, as she prepared to leave for a competitor.


Pfizer claimed in case filed Tuesday in federal court in San Diego that Chun Xiao Li violated her confidentiality agreement by uploading more than 12,000 files from her company-issued laptop to her personal accounts and devices without permission.
The purported files include “playbook” dated September 24 that contains internal assessments and recommendations about the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer’s relationship with its German vaccine partner, and cancer antibody presentations.


According to Pfizer, Li, an associate director of statistics, attempted to cover her tracks numerous times, even supplying “decoy” laptop to trick it into thinking what she did with the files.

“Li has misled Pfizer about what she took, how she took it, when and why she took it, and where those files (and perhaps others) may be found,” according to the complaint “According to the New York-based pharmaceutical company.

Pfizer announced Li’s resignation after 15 years with the business, and he appears to have accepted an offer to join Xencor Inc, a California clinical-stage company focused on cancer and autoimmune illnesses, on November 29.


Li could not be reached for comment through her LinkedIn account right away. Xencor is not a party to the litigation and has declined to comment.


Pfizer stated that competitors have been “relentlessly” attempting to attract its staff, particularly during 2021.”


Late Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo issued an order temporarily prohibiting Li from utilising Pfizer’s trade secrets and directing the company’s lawyers to check accounts and devices where she may have kept them.

The judge set a hearing for December 9 to consider a longer injunction.

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