Ex-Genentech employees indicted for stealing trade secrets

July 9, 2021

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced the indictment of two co-founders of Taiwanese biopharma company JHL Biotech for allegedly stealing trade secrets from Roche Holding's Genentech to create biosimilar versions of blockbuster drugs.

The unsealed court documents revealed that former JHL CEO Racho Jordanov, 73, and COO Rose Lin, 72, were accused of stealing thousands of Genentech documents to create biosimilars of Genentech's biologics and defrauding its planned manufacturing partner, French drugmaker Sanofi, out of $101 million. The secrets were allegedly used to develop biosimilars of Genentech's cystic fibrosis drug Pulmozyme and cancer drugs Rituxan, Herceptin, and Avastin. The cancer drugs each brought in over $4 billion in sales last year for Roche.

JHL Biotech, a start-up headquartered in Zhubei, Taiwan, has offices in Wuhan, China, and Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.  JHL Biotech is now known as Eden Biologics and Chime Biologics in Wuhan. It was founded in 2012.

Roche formally dropped a related trade secrets misappropriation case against JHL Biotech last year after securing a settlement that calls for reimbursement of litigation costs.

Now, according to the DOJ, Jordanov and Lin were charged with conspiracy to commit trade secret theft and wire fraud, international money laundering, and related charges including obstruction of justice.  They pleaded not guilty on all charges.

Read the DOJ press release