Suit Awarding Benefits to Scientists Aiding Research Comes as Surprise
Three California scientists received an unexpected windfall yesterday - a share in the royalties from streptomycin, one of the most potent of the so-called wonder drugs. They are Dr. H. Corwin Hinshaw of San Francisco, a clinical professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine; Dr. Donald M. Reynolds, an instructor in bacteriology at the Davis campus of the University of California, and Miss Doris I Jones, graduate student in bacteriology on the Berkeley campus
The awards to them were part of a settlement of a court suit announced at Newark, N. J.
SURPRISE TO ALL.
But none of the three in California was a party to the suit, and the two who were reached had no knowledge that they were to be awarded anything.
The suit was brought by Dr. Albert Schatz of Brooklyn, a college professor, to establish his rights as a co-discoverer with Dr Selman A. Waksman of Rutgers University of the drug.
Under the settlement, Schatz, in addition to being named officially as the co-discoverer, was awarded 3 per cent of the net royalties and $125,000 for assignment of foreign rights.
Up to September 30, royalties from sale of the drug were estimated at $2,360,000.
The settlement provided that Waksman and the Rutgers Research Foundation shall pay 7 per cent of the net sale royalties accruing after October 1, 1950, to thirteen others who participated in various ways in the development of streptomycin. Doctors Hinshaw and Reynolds are two of the thirteen.
Doctor Hinshaw was awarded a share because he and Dr. William Feldman discovered streptomycin's greatest use as a treatment and sometimes cure for tuberculosis. They were on the Mayo Clinic staff when they did the work.
The court ordered that twelve others less directly associated with the streptomycin work shall receive cash bonuses in an unnamed amount.
Miss Jones, one of the group, said she was a Rutgers student doing virus research at the time Doctors Waksman and Schatz discovered the new drug.
Her only part, she said, was to lend Doctor Schatz a culture plate on which he found a strain of streptomycin mold.
"It was something I had missed entirely," she said.