Ex-Genentech Worker Faces Lesser Charge in Trade Secret Case

(Bloomberg) -- A former Genentech employee charged by the U.S. in 2018 with stealing trade secrets from the company to help Taiwan-based JHL Biotech Inc. sell similar drugs faces a reduced charge.

James Quach was initially charged with conspiracy to commit computer fraud, as well as computer fraud, and faced as long as five years in prison if convicted. But late Friday, the U.S. filed a superseding information stating Quach intentionally accessed a computer without authorization, which is a misdemeanor.

Quach was one of four employees of Genentech, including a principal scientist, who were charged. They were accused of conspiring to steal trade secrets related to the biopharmaceutical Pulmozyme and Roche’s top-selling cancer drugs Rituxan, Herceptin and Avastin. All pleaded not guilty and were released on bond.

Quach is set to change his plea at a hearing scheduled for Jan. 21.

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