Former Puma exec agrees to prison time, penalty on insider trading case; Ex-GSK boss Witty to lead UK’s new ‘breakthrough’ program

Puma’s former regulatory chief has plead guilty to charges he profited off of insider information he gleaned at the biotech. He was charged a little more than a year ago for trading on the company stock after finding out about developments related to neratinib. In the settlement he agreed to pay $1.6 million, according to Reuters, and not fight any prison sentence higher than 37 months.

→ Former GSK CEO Andrew Witty will head up a new panel in the UK which will be charged with advancing access to 5 new drugs and devices each year. In the government scheme, life sciences companies will get the chance to grab some early financing for development work on new “breakthrough” therapies, while the panel will look to speed access to the public with an accelerated review process on pricing. And the British government expects to be rewarded with some favorable wholesale prices. Witty has been taking a number of positions on biotech boards and recently joined the venture group Hatteras, where he’s had some longstanding ties.

→ A House judiciary committee has lined up some expert testimony on sovereign immunity for next Tuesday as lawmakers prep a fresh blast against Allergan. Allergan stirred considerable controversy with its decision to transfer control of its Restasis patents to a Mohawk tribe to escape inter partes review challenges that threatened their blockbuster franchise. Lawmakers, though, haven’t been friendly toward the legal gambit. Noted Internet Subcommittee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA): “This hearing is an important look at the ways that the system can be gamed under the guise of sovereign immunity as a means to shield patents from the checks and balances intended by law and the changes Congress may need to make to address it.” According to the committee leaders they’ll be hearing from Karl Manheim, professor of law, Loyola Law School; William Jay, partner and co-chair, appellate litigation for Goodwin Procter; Philip Johnson, principal, Johnson-IP Strategy & Policy Consulting; and Christopher Mohr, general counsel for the Software and Information Industry Association. Allergan execs are not on the list.

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