The drug company’s lawyers allowed the case to “get off the record”.


A UAE-based Covid-19 vaccine maker will “strongly oppose” a Galway firm’s application for an injunction to prevent it from entering into a distribution deal with the Nigerian government, the High Court has heard.

The lawyer for Via Medica International Healthcare LLC, which is registered in the United Arab Emirates, said yesterday that there had been “tangible dishonesty” as well as “material secrecy” on the part of the co-directors of Upper Newcastle 1492 Pharma.

Rossa Fanning SC told the court that the plaintiff company allegedly offered an indemnity bond to support its request for an injunction against its client Via Medica.

It turns out, he said, that the Galway company is a “hollow shell with no assets whatsoever”.

Lawyers representing 1492 Pharma were granted an order allowing them to withdraw from the records after the court heard the relationship with their client had broken down.

One of 1492 Pharma’s directors, Seamus McCauley, told the court that allegations he believed related to the case had been made against Credit Suisse Bank, resulting in a dozen bank accounts being frozen.

He said he was informed that this action was part of a “logistical process”.

The company has made payment commitments and is only facing a “timing issue” in relation to its access to funds. He asked for a two-week grace period to hire a new legal team and provide further answers.

Last month, Via Medica pledged to the court without prejudice that it would not solicit any orders from the Nigerian government for the supply or manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines, a rollout program, or the sale or supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). pending a decision on 1492 Pharma’s application for an injunction.

The Galway company said it began trading in 2020, with a particular focus on supplying PSA and Covid-19 vaccines to developing countries.

In its lawsuit, 1492 Pharma alleges it made a proposal to the Nigerian government in August 2021 to implement a 160 million dose vaccination program.

It had contacted the UAE’s vaccine manufacturer and supplier and made various confidential statements to the Nigerian government on operational matters and proposals during negotiations for possible cooperation in the implementation of a program.

It alleges that Via Medica later breached a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) struck during the talks and approached the Nigerian Health Ministry with “remarkably similar” proposals, as suggested by 1492 Pharma, as the court had previously done had heard.

The engagement between the two companies had also sparked a potential sale of Via Medica stock to 1492 Pharma for $62 million (€57 million).

According to the court, although a share purchase agreement was concluded in January of this year, the sale of shares did not take place.

The claims are being denied and Mr Fanning said his client would “strongly oppose” the motion.

Judge Brian O’Moore set a hearing date for July. The drug company’s lawyers allowed the case to “get off the record”.

Fry Electronics Team

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