Gongda Xue is a Chinese national and former scientist at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) in Switzerland. As Reuters reported on May 3, he was convicted of charges conspiring with his sister to steal trade secrets from the drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Both of them want to benefit their respective biopharmaceutical companies.

Four other persons, including his sister, Yu Xue, pleaded guilty in the same case as Xue. Yu Xue is a former senior chemist at GSK.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) published a statement on May 2. The statement said that while working for respective entities, the defendant and his sister shared confidential information for their own personal benefit.

According to prosecutors, Yu Xue, along with co-defendants Tao Li and Yan Mei, established the biotech company Renopharma in Nanjing, China. The company was backed by the Chinese government.

From 2012 to 2016, Yu Xue and another GSK scientist, Lucy Xi, stole confidential information from GSK. They then provided the data for use to Renopharma.

In the meantime, Gongda Xue created Swiss-based Abba Therapeutics. It intended to develop biopharmaceutical anti-cancer products.

Yu Xue also fed the confidential GSK documents to his brother Gongda Xue. In return, Gongda Xue stole FMI’s cancer research and sent it to his sister.

Gongda Xue was charged in 2018 and extradited to the United States from Switzerland in December 2019. In May of 2021, Yue Xue received an eight-month sentence.

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