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For the Name 'Moonshot'

MD Anderson Cancer Center is suing Patrick Soon-Shiong over the use of the word 'moonshot,' the Cancer Letter reports.

It notes that around time US President Barack Obama announced a 'Cancer Moonshot' effort, Soon-Shiong, the CEO of NantHealth, unveiled his own 'Cancer MoonShot 2020,' a project to conduct immunotherapy clinical trials that he said was a collaboration between the government and pharmaceutical companies. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, had to clarify that the two similarly named projects were separate, it adds.

Soon-Shiong's corporations also sought trademark protection for Cancer Moonshot 2020, Cancer Moonshot 2020 Foundation, and Cancer Moonshot Network News at that time.

Last month, MD Anderson, which had been using the 'moonshot' term as well, sought trademark protection for its project. It filed an opposition to Soon-Shiong's potential trademarks and sued Soon-Shiong and three of his corporations, according to the Cancer Letter.

MD Anderson claims in its suit that NantHealth "willfully, intentionally, and/or knowingly infringed or otherwise violated the trademark," as FiercePharma reports. It points out, though, that the government program isn't named in the suit. MD Anderson is seeking profits, damages, costs, and more, it adds.

Relatedly, the US government applied to service mark 'Precision Medicine Initiative' last year, as GenomeWeb's Turna Ray reported. NIH's Kathy Hudson told her at the time that it was in part to prevent groups from claiming to be part of the initiative when they were not.