JHL Biotech founders convicted of trade secret conspiracy

Aug. 30, 2021

The two co-founders of Taiwanese biopharma company JHL Biotech have been convicted in a San Francisco federal court of conspiring to steal trade secrets related to blockbuster cancer and cystic-fibrosis drugs made by Roche's Genentech.

Racho Jordanov, former JHL CEO and Rose Lin, former JHL COO, admitted to hiring former Genentech employees and using stolen confidential and proprietary documents they had brought with them from Genentech. According to the plea, between 2011 and 2019, Jordanov obtained trade secret information from Genentech and used it to accelerate the timeline and to reduce the costs of JHL Biotech’s development and production of Genentech biosimilars and to enhance JHL Biotech’s ability to meet various regulatory requirements.

According to the DOJ, the stolen information "allowed the company to cheat, cut corners, solve problems, provide examples, avoid further experimentation, eliminate costs, lend scientific assurance, and otherwise help JHL Biotech start-up, develop, and operate its business."

Additionally, in early December 2016, Jordanov and Lin met with representatives of Sanofi to review the details of a strategic partnership and did not disclose their possession and use of stolen Genentech documents to Sanofi. The pair admitted to defrauding Sanofi out of $101 million.

Per the agreement with the DOJ, Jordanov and Lin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit trade-secret theft and wire fraud in exchange for other claims against them being dismissed.