Ju­ry finds Mar­tin Shkre­li guilty on 3 counts of se­cu­ri­ties fraud — and he's 'de­light­ed'

A ju­ry has found Mar­tin Shkre­li guilty on three of the 8 felony fraud charges he faced, putting the young biotech ex­ec­u­tive in front of a prison sen­tence that could run for years.

Af­ter 5 full days of de­lib­er­a­tions, the ju­ry con­clud­ed that Shkre­li was guilty of two of the se­cu­ri­ties fraud changes and one count of con­spir­a­cy to com­mit fraud.

Ever un­re­pen­tant, Shkre­li will not be throw­ing him­self on the mer­cy of the court. Nev­er one to shy away from self-con­grat­u­la­tions, Shkre­li emerged from the cour­t­house and de­clared a re­sound­ing vic­to­ry.

“I think we’re de­light­ed in many ways with this ver­dict,” he told re­porters. The case against him was an “epic witch hunt” and all the pros­e­cu­tors did was find some old broom­sticks. The key, as far as he and de­fense at­tor­ney Ben Braf­man were con­cerned, was get­ting off on count 7 re­lat­ed to loot­ing Retrophin of mil­lions.

“I think we would love to have a com­plete sweep but 5 out of 8 counts not guilty is in our view a very good ver­dict,” said Braf­man. The case, he added, was made dif­fi­cult by an­ti-Shkre­li sen­ti­ment, but he sound­ed con­fi­dent that Shkre­li will be let off with a “very le­nient” sen­tence.

Shkre­li head­ed straight to his lap­top and a ren­dezvous with his fol­low­ers on YouTube. And he quick­ly scoffed at the idea that he would get more than a year-long sen­tence in prison.

“Those pun­ish­ments are go­ing to be close to nil,” he said about be­ing con­vict­ed of ly­ing to in­vestors, af­ter re­view­ing the sen­tenc­ing guide­lines. “You can add up all the points of an of­fense and de­ter­mine what the pun­ish­ment would be.” Prison sen­tences are di­rect­ly re­lat­ed to fi­nan­cial loss, he added. “My in­vestors didn’t lose any mon­ey, they tripled their mon­ey.”

And: “No jail time would be def­i­nite­ly ide­al. If the charges stand it’s pos­si­ble it’s a 6 month or a one-year sen­tence.” A few months in “Club Fed,” he boast­ed, and he would be back on the streets.

Shkre­li faced 8 counts ac­cus­ing him of de­fraud­ing in­vestors in his hedge funds, then pay­ing them back with stock he loot­ed from Retrophin, a biotech com­pa­ny he found­ed. Some of those in­vestors were al­so hand­ed pho­ny con­sult­ing agree­ments to help cov­er his moves, ac­cord­ing to pros­e­cu­tors.

Shkre­li be­came a wide­ly hat­ed poster child for phar­ma greed af­ter rais­ing the price of an old, cheap drug he bought by more than 5000%. But while it proved loath­some to mil­lions, and a wide va­ri­ety of law­mak­ers in both par­ties, there’s no law against it in the US.

In fact, Shkre­li still owns a big chunk of Tur­ing, which in turn sells dara­prim. He re­cent­ly fend­ed off an at­tempt­ed board coup, lin­ing up the elec­tion of a slate of new di­rec­tors with whom he has close ties.

For much of the past two years Shkre­li has mocked and taunt­ed jour­nal­ists who cov­ered his sto­ry, as well as a le­gion of crit­ics who took pot shots at him on the so­cial me­dia out­lets he avid­ly em­ployed. Shkre­li was re­cent­ly banned from Twit­ter, though, and won’t have much ac­cess to his on­line streams on YouTube if he winds up in jail.

Shkre­li has re­peat­ed­ly tried to get back on to Twit­ter af­ter they re­peat­ed­ly blocked ear­li­er at­tempts. This evening, his lat­est stab@SamThe­ManTP  went down abrupt­ly, blocked af­ter he used it to de­fend his con­vic­tion as a win.


Im­age: Mar­tin Shkre­li right af­ter his ver­dict was an­nounced. Cred­it: Get­ty

Martin Shkreli [via Getty]

Pris­on­er #87850-053 does not get to add drug de­vel­op­er to his list of cred­its

Just days after Retrophin shed its last ties to founder Martin Shkreli, the biotech is reporting that the lead drug he co-invented flopped in a pivotal trial. Fosmetpantotenate flunked both the primary and key secondary endpoints in a placebo-controlled trial for a rare disease called pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration, or PKAN.

Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 58,000+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

We­bi­nar: Re­al World End­points — the brave new world com­ing in build­ing fran­chise ther­a­pies

Several biopharma companies have been working on expanding drug labels through the use of real world endpoints, combing through the data to find evidence of a drug’s efficacy for particular indications. But we’ve just begun. Real World Evidence is becoming an important part of every clinical development plan, in the soup-through-nuts approach used in building franchises.

I’ve recruited a panel of 3 top experts in the field — the first in a series of premium webinars — to look at the practical realities governing what can be done today, and where this is headed over the next few years, at the prodding of the FDA.

ZHEN SU — Merck Serono’s Senior Vice President and Global Head of Oncology
ELLIOTT LEVY — Amgen’s Senior Vice President of Global Development
CHRIS BOSHOFF — Pfizer Oncology’s Chief Development Officer

A premium subscription to Endpoints News is required to attend this webinar. Please upgrade to either an Insider or Enterprise plan for access. Already have Endpoints Premium? Please sign-in below. You can contact our Subscriptions team at help@endpointsnews.com with any issues.

Endpoints Premium

Premium subscription required

Unlock this article along with other benefits by subscribing to one of our paid plans.

Brian Kaspar. AveXis via Twitter

AveX­is sci­en­tif­ic founder fires back at No­var­tis CEO Vas Narasimhan, 'cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly de­nies any wrong­do­ing'

Brian Kaspar’s head was among the first to roll at Novartis after company execs became aware of the fact that manipulated data had been included in its application for Zolgensma, now the world’s most expensive therapy.

But in his first public response, the scientific founder at AveXis — acquired by Novartis for $8.7 billion — is firing back. And he says that not only was he not involved in any wrongdoing, he’s ready to defend his name as needed.

I reached out to Brian Kaspar after Novartis put out word that he and his brother Allen had been axed in mid-May, two months after the company became aware of the allegations related to manipulated data. His response came back through his attorneys.

Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 58,000+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Why would Am­gen want to buy Alex­ion? An­a­lysts call hot­ly ru­mored takeover un­like­ly, but seize the mo­ment

A rumor that Amgen is closing in on buyout deal for Alexion has sparked a guessing game on just what kind of M&A strategy Amgen is pursuing and how much Alexion is worth.

Mizuho analyst Salim Syed first lent credence to the report out of the Spanish news outlet Intereconomía, which said Amgen is bidding as much as $200 per share. While the source may be questionable, “the concept of this happening doesn’t sound too crazy to me,” he wrote.

FDA asks why No­var­tis took two months to launch for­mal in­ter­nal probe, af­ter AveX­is flagged da­ta ma­nip­u­la­tion

And the plot thickens. Novartis $NVS officials are reportedly now scrambling to explain to the FDA why it took them two months to open an internal investigation into data discrepancies for their $2.1 million gene-therapy for spinal muscular dystrophy — the world’s most expensive drug.

Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 58,000+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Hal Barron. GSK

GSK's Hal Bar­ron her­alds their sec­ond pos­i­tive piv­otal for cru­cial an­ti-BC­MA ther­a­py, point­ing to a push for quick OKs in a crowd­ed field

Hal Barron has his second positive round of Phase III data in hand for his anti-BCMA antibody drug conjugate belantamab mafodotin (GSK2857916). And GSK’s research chief says the data paves the way for their drive in search of an FDA approval for treating multiple myeloma.

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of this drug for GSK, a cornerstone of Barron’s campaign to make a dramatic impact on the oncology market and provide some long-lost excitement for the pharma giant’s pipeline. They’re putting this BCMA program at the front of that charge — looking to lead a host of rivals all aimed at the same target.

We don’t know what the data are yet, but DREAMM-2 falls on the heels of a promising set of data delivered 5 months ago for DREAMM-1. There investigators noted that complete responses among treatment-resistant patients rose to 15% in the extra year’s worth of data to look over, with a median progression-free survival rate of 12 months, up from 7.9 months reported earlier. The median duration of response was 14.3 months.

Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 58,000+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

UP­DAT­ED: An em­bold­ened As­traZeneca splurges $95M on a pri­or­i­ty re­view vouch­er. Where do they need the FDA to hus­tle up?

AstraZeneca is in a hurry.

We learned this morning that the pharma giant — not known as a big spender, until recently — forked over $95 million to get its hands on a priority review voucher from Sobi, otherwise known as Swedish Orphan Biovitrum.

That marks another step down on price for a PRV, which allows the holder to slash 4 months off of any FDA review time.

Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 58,000+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Bob Smith, Pfizer

Pfiz­er is mak­ing a $500M state­ment to­day: Here’s how you be­come a lead play­er in the boom­ing gene ther­a­py sec­tor

Three years ago, Pfizer anted up $150 million in cash to buy Bamboo Therapeutics in Chapel Hill, NC as it cautiously stuck a toe in the small gene therapy pool of research and development.

Company execs followed up a year later with a $100 million expansion of the manufacturing operations they picked up in that deal for the UNC spinout, which came with $495 million in milestones.

And now they’re really going for it.

Endpoints News

Basic subscription required

Unlock this story instantly and join 58,000+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Video: Putting the AI in R&D — with Badhri Srini­vasan, Tony Wood, Rosana Kapeller, Hugo Ceule­mans, Saurabh Sa­ha and Shoibal Dat­ta

During BIO this year, I had a chance to moderate a panel among some of the top tech experts in biopharma on their real-world use of artificial intelligence in R&D. There’s been a lot said about the potential of AI, but I wanted to explore more about what some of the larger players are actually doing with this technology today, and how they see it advancing in the future. It was a fascinating exchange, which you can see here. The transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity. — John Carroll