Researcher working at US university given time served for charges relating to disappearance of vials of promising drug candidate

A Chinese researcher who was working at a US university has been sentenced to time served for charges relating to the theft of a promising anticancer drug candidate.

Hua Jun Zhao was working at the Medical College of Wisconsin when surveillance video implicated him in the disappearance of three vials of the experimental drug C-25. Prosecutors alleged that he stole the vials and shipped them to China and was also attempting to pass off the research as his own to Zhejiang University in China.

Prosecutors dropped charges of economic espionage after Zhao pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of illegally downloading research data. After having already been in prison for four-and-a-half months he was released and ordered to remain on probation for two years. Zhao’s right to live and work in the US is now being reviewed.