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Three months ago, Effendi Ortiz-Toro resigned from Shire Pharmaceuticals (SHPG), where he worked as sales director for the Midwest region, and took a job with Ultragenyx (RARE), which also sells rare-disease drugs. A few weeks later, three regional business managers followed him out the door and also joined Ultragenyx, a scenario that Shire alleges involved stealing confidential information.

In a lawsuit filed earlier this month, Shire claimed its former employees surreptitiously conspired to take valuable lists of doctors who specialize in treating rare disorders. As a result, Shire argued, Ultragenyx quickly gained a competitive edge and Shire asked a federal court to issue a restraining order to prevent Ultragenyx from marketing a newly approved medicine for treating a rare disease called Sly syndrome.

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