Former AstraZeneca exec committed insider trading on landmark 2019 Enhertu deal, SEC alleges
A former AstraZeneca employee allegedly engaged in insider trading while at the Big Pharma, according to an SEC complaint submitted last week.
In March 2019, Hugues Pierre Joublin learned the company was in confidential negotiations with Daiichi Sankyo for a global development and commercialization pact for Daiichi’s antibody-drug conjugate that would come to be known as Enhertu. He was global head of corporate affairs for AZN’s oncology division at the time, when he learned of the deal negotiations on March 6.
On March 12, Joublin purchased 500 shares of Daiichi at $40 per share, for a total of about $20,000. According to the SEC complaint, the move breached his duties to AstraZeneca and its shareholders because he had access to material nonpublic information.
The companies made their agreement public on March 28, revealing for the first time the major bet that would turn into Enhertu. That deal, which included a massive $1.35 billion upfront and up to $5.55 billion more in biobucks, has been quite fruitful for the companies: Enhertu received its third indication approval earlier this month, and the breast cancer drug reeled in $166 million in the first quarter, AstraZeneca reported.
Following the announcement, Daiichi’s shares increased 24%, leading to Joublin obtaining illicit profits of about $4,995. Endpoints News has reached out to Joublin, and this story will be updated accordingly.
By way of a complaint submitted last week by the Philadelphia Regional Office, the SEC orders Joublin to “disgorge” the trading profits “or other ill-gotten gains received as a result of the conduct alleged in this complaint.” The agency also orders Joublin to pay a civil monetary penalty.
Joublin’s employment at AstraZeneca was terminated on Dec. 15, 2019. He is now CEO of Salience Communication, a communications agency he founded in May 2021.