Susman Godfrey Client Wellstat Therapeutics Awarded Over $70 Million by Delaware Court

September 2017

Susman Godfrey client, Wellstat Therapeutics, has been awarded an estimated $70 million against BTG International, Inc. in a pharmaceutical contract dispute in the Delaware Court of Chancery.  Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster issued a Memorandum Opinion on Tuesday, awarding Wellstat $55.8 million in damages plus prejudgment interest estimated to be in excess of $15 million plus a portion of the client’s attorney’s fees.

In the lawsuit, Wellstat sued BTG over the marketing of Vistogard®, a life-saving drug designed to serve as an antidote for over-exposure to certain types of chemotherapy for which Wellstat developed and obtained FDA approval.  Wellstat signed a distribution agreement with BTG that obligated BTG to commercialize and market the drug over a 10-year period.  Under the agreement, BTG was supposed to use “diligent efforts.”

The FDA approved Vistogard® in December 2015.  In the months preceding approval, the parties began to dispute the level of effort BTG planned to devote to the product.  Seven months later, in July 2016, BTG sued Wellstat claiming that BTG had complied with the contract.  Wellstat filed a counterclaim seeking to terminate the distribution rights and to recover damages.

In today’s opinion, Vice Chancellor Laster ruled in favor of Wellstat, finding that BTG had breached the agreement in various ways.  Further, he found no validity to BTG’s claims. Vice Chancellor Laster awarded Wellstat actual damages of $55.8 million plus prejudgment interest accruing at 1% per month compounded.  In addition, Vice Chancellor Laster awarded Wellstat an unspecified amount of attorneys’ fees due to BTG’s conduct during the litigation.

Wellstat was represented at trial by a team from Susman Godfrey which was 50% Partners and 50% Associates; Steve Susman and Harry Susman acted as lead counsel while associates Cory Buland and Mark Musico rounded out Susman Godfrey’s trial team. 

Susman Godfrey was joined by Kelly E. Farnan and Blake Rohrbacher of Richards, Layton & Finger who served as co-counsel.   Wellstat’s legal team also was assisted by Jeremy Schulman and Koushik Bhattacharya of Schulman Bhattacharya.

 BTG International, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BTG PLC, a publicly traded pharmaceutical company based in the United Kingdom.

 The case is Wellstat Therapeutics v. BTG International in The Delaware Court of Chancery, C.A. No. 12562-VCL.