Ex-Missouri professor is accused of stealing and selling student’s invention

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A lawsuit has been filed alleging a former University of Missouri-Kansas City pharmacy professor stole a student’s research and secretly sold the work for $1.5 million. According to the Kansas City Star, the suit says the sale has the potential of earning $10 million additional dollars in royalties over the next five years.

The pharmaceutical invention would treat dry eye – one the university says could be a billion-dollar drug.

According to the newspaper, a UMKC spokesman says university policy allows the inventor to get a third of the money in current and future royalties. UMKC and the University of Missouri system gets the other two thirds.

The lawsuit attempts to strip Dr. Ashim Mitra of any claim to share because he reportedly violated university policy by allegedly making a secret deal with two drug companies.

Mitra is the same professor accused of threatening to revoke the visas of some of his international students if they did not work as his personal servants. They allegedly did chores at his home, mowed Mitra’s lawn, took care of his dog and helped at his social functions, sometimes for weeks.

The newspaper says Mitra denies the new allegations and claims the school is trying to cash in on his hard work.

In January, he submitted his resignation. It takes effect March 31.

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