Scientist sentenced in secret sale

January 08, 1992|By Kelly Gilbert | Kelly Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff

A former Parke-Davis Co. research scientist has been sentenced to 90 days' work-release and a nine-month suspended sentence for selling formulas and trade secrets to a competing generic drug company official.

Judge John R. Hargrove, who imposed the punishment yesterday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, told defendant John E. Botzolakis that he appeared to be "a very contrite, very bright individual."

But, Hargrove said of the case, "the bottom line is greed."

The judge also sentenced Botzolakis to three years of probation after his prison term and ordered him to perform 200 hours of community service.

Botzolakis pleaded guilty last fall to a conspiracy charge for selling proprietary information on two Parke-Davis drugs to Sanyasi R. Kalidindi, vice president of American Therapeutics Inc., for $14,000, in the summer of 1987.

Prosecutor Raymond A. Bonner said ATI used the stolen formulas and manufacturing information to make its own generic versions of the drugs, and quickly applied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for permission to sell them on the open market.

The speedy applications would have saved ATI substantial time and money in developing generic substitutes for the name-brand drugs, and would have given ATI a substantial marketing advantage over competing drug makers.

Bonner said Kalidindi approached Botzolakis at the request of Raju V. Vegesna, ATI's founder and former chief executive. Botzolakis and Kalidindi had known each other since they were classmates at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore years earlier.

Botzolakis got the $14,000 when he delivered the stolen information and was to get another $15,000 when ATI got FDA approval to market its antibiotic. But ATI withdrew the applications in 1989 after the FDA said the drugs were technically faulty.

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