Long­time Kad­mon con­sul­tant slapped with in­sid­er trad­ing charges re­lat­ed to $1.9B Sanofi buy­out

Months af­ter Sanofi snapped up Kad­mon for $1.9 bil­lion, a long­time Kad­mon con­sul­tant has been ac­cused of us­ing in­sid­er knowl­edge of the buy­out to make more than $400,000 in il­le­gal prof­its.

The SEC filed a com­plaint against Frank Glass­ner in a Man­hat­tan fed­er­al court on Tues­day, charg­ing him with in­sid­er trad­ing. The 68-year-old was al­so slapped with two se­cu­ri­ties fraud charges from the De­part­ment of Jus­tice, which car­ry max­i­mum prison sen­tences of 20 and 25 years, re­spec­tive­ly.

Glass­ner was ar­rest­ed on Tues­day morn­ing in No­va­to, CA, where he lives and runs a con­sult­ing firm.

In a com­plaint filed that day, the SEC ac­cused Glass­ner of re­ac­ti­vat­ing a dor­mant bro­ker­age ac­count with­in 30 min­utes of learn­ing con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion about the Sanofi buy­out back in late Ju­ly. The very next day, he al­leged­ly be­gan pur­chas­ing Kad­mon stock — all while work­ing on ac­qui­si­tion-re­lat­ed ex­ec­u­tive com­pen­sa­tion analy­ses for Kad­mon.

By the time Kad­mon and Sanofi an­nounced the buy­out deal on Sept. 8, Glass­ner held 28,445 shares and 910 call op­tion con­tracts. That day, his stock val­ue surged 71%, reap­ing $405,000 in il­lic­it prof­its, the SEC claimed.

“This type of il­lic­it ac­tion makes mar­kets un­fair and cre­ates an at­mos­phere of dis­trust. Our work in­ves­ti­gat­ing in­sid­er trad­ing hope­ful­ly re­stores faith for in­vestors who need to be­lieve in the process,” FBI as­sis­tant di­rec­tor-in-charge Michael Driscoll said in a news re­lease from the DOJ.

Sanofi closed its buy­out in No­vem­ber, pick­ing up Kad­mon’s new­ly ap­proved Rezurock for chron­ic graft-ver­sus-host dis­ease. Months lat­er, CEO Paul Hud­son re­vealed plans to shut­ter Kad­mon’s New York plant and lay off 25 em­ploy­ees.

Glass­ner’s case is the lat­est in a slew of re­cent in­sid­er trad­ing suits, in­clud­ing last Sep­tem­ber when a for­mer My­lan IT ex­ec­u­tive plead­ed guilty to an in­sid­er trad­ing scheme ahead of pub­lic an­nounce­ments re­gard­ing FDA ap­provals, rev­enue re­ports and its merg­er with the Pfiz­er gener­ics sub­sidiary Up­john.

The ac­tions land­ed Dayakar Mal­lu more than $8 mil­lion in un­re­al­ized prof­its and loss­es avoid­ed, re­sult­ing in net prof­its and loss­es avoid­ed of more than $4.2 mil­lion, the DOJ re­port­ed.

That same month, the SEC ac­cused ex-Gold­man Sachs an­a­lyst Jose Luis Casero Sanchez of mak­ing at least 45 il­lic­it trades re­lat­ed to the merg­ers of AM­AG Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Viela Bio, Roivant Sci­ences and oth­ers.

Back in Au­gust, the SEC charged for­mer Medi­va­tion ex­ec Matthew Panuwat with in­sid­er trad­ing be­fore Pfiz­er’s buy­out deal went pub­lic. With­in min­utes of learn­ing the con­fi­den­tial news, Panuwat al­leged­ly bought stock op­tions in an­oth­er mid-cap can­cer drug de­vel­op­er, In­cyte, whose val­ue he thought would ex­plode once the Medi­va­tion ac­qui­si­tion went pub­lic.

Sure enough, Panuwat’s In­cyte stock op­tions rough­ly dou­bled, earn­ing him more than $100,000 in prof­its, ac­cord­ing to the SEC’s com­plaint.

More re­cent­ly, for­mer Im­munomedics CFO Us­ama Ma­lik was in­dict­ed on three counts of in­sid­er trad­ing, se­cu­ri­ties fraud and se­cu­ri­ties fraud con­spir­a­cy, af­ter al­leged­ly shar­ing in­sid­er in­for­ma­tion about a Phase III study for Trodelvy with his then-girl­friend and a num­ber of rel­a­tives.

And just last month, a Five Prime tri­al in­ves­ti­ga­tor al­so plead­ed guilty to se­cu­ri­ties fraud, af­ter he was ac­cused of buy­ing more than 8,700 shares just a few hours be­fore the com­pa­ny re­leased pos­i­tive Phase II tri­al re­sults.

How pre­pared is bio­phar­ma for the cy­ber dooms­day?

One of the largest cyberattacks in history happened on a Friday, Eric Perakslis distinctly remembers.

Perakslis, who was head of Takeda’s R&D Data Sciences Institute and visiting faculty at Harvard Medical School at the time, had spent that morning completing a review on cybersecurity for the British Medical Journal. Moments after he turned it in, he heard back from the editor: “Have you heard what’s going on right now?”

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Scoop: Boehringer qui­et­ly shut­ters a PhII for one of its top drugs — now un­der re­view

Boehringer Ingelheim has quietly shut down a small Phase II study for one of its lead drugs.

The private pharma player confirmed to Endpoints News that it had shuttered a study testing spesolimab as a therapy for Crohn’s patients suffering from bowel obstructions.

A spokesperson for the company tells Endpoints:

Taking into consideration the current therapeutic landscape and ongoing clinical development programs, Boehringer Ingelheim decided to discontinue our program in Crohn’s disease. It is important to note that this decision is not based on any safety findings in the clinical trials.

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Pearl Huang, Dunad Therapeutics CEO (Ken Richardson, PR Newswire)

Long­time biotech leader Pearl Huang takes the reins as CEO of No­var­tis-backed up­start

It has only been a few months since Pearl Huang exited the top seat at Cygnal Therapeutics, but now she’s back at the helm of another biotech.

After taking a few months off — passing an exam in that time to get her captain’s license from the US Coast Guard — she’s been named CEO of Dunad Therapeutics, a biotech focused on developing a small molecule covalent therapies that was founded in 2020. Huang told Endpoints News that two factors attracted her to going back to the c-suite: the company’s technology and its co-founders.

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Fed­er­al judge de­nies Bris­tol My­er­s' at­tempt to avoid Cel­gene share­hold­er law­suit

Some Celgene shareholders aren’t happy with how Bristol Myers Squibb’s takeover went down.

On Friday, a New York federal judge ruled that they have a case against the pharma giant, denying a request to dismiss allegations that it purposely slow-rolled Breyanzi’s approval to avoid paying out $6.4 billion in contingent value rights (CVR).

When Bristol Myers put down $74 billion to scoop up Celgene back in 2019, liso-cel — the CAR-T lymphoma treatment now marketed as Breyanzi — was supposedly one of the centerpieces of the deal. After going back and forth on negotiations for about six months, BMS put $6.4 billion into a CVR agreement that required an FDA approval for Zeposia, Breyanzi and Abecma, each by an established date.

Matt Gline, Roivant CEO (John Sciulli/Getty Images for GLG)

Roivant chops sick­le cell gene ther­a­py, der­ma­tol­ogy drugs to fo­cus on 'high­er val­ue pro­ject­s'

Roivant is sweeping a suite of drugs, including a gene therapy for sickle cell disease already in the clinic, out of its pipeline.

Six programs from four of its “vants” are being wound down as part of “a company-wide cost optimization and pipeline reprioritization initiative to reduce our expected operating expenses and prioritize our capital resources.”

When reached by Endpoints News, a spokesperson said, “We don’t anticipate a material reduction in headcount but we will likely reassign some folks to higher value projects as part of winding down specific programs.”

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Laurence Reid, Decibel CEO

Still in pre­clin­i­cal test­ing for ear gene ther­a­pies, Deci­bel touts small snap­shot of chemo-in­duced hear­ing loss drug

Though Decibel Therapeutics has largely pivoted toward gene therapies for the inner ear, its lead clinical candidate simply aims to protect cancer patients from chemotherapy-induced hearing loss. On Tuesday, the biotech presented its first efficacy data for the program, and execs like what they see.

Decibel reported interim results from a Phase Ib study showing the experimental drug, dubbed DB-020, largely protected a small group of patients from losing their hearing. Researchers used a particularly unique study design, administering the compound in one of each patients’ ears before they received cisplatin chemotherapy and placebo in the other.

Alex­ion puts €65M for­ward to strength­en its po­si­tion on the Emer­ald Isle

Ireland has been on a roll in 2022, with several large pharma companies announcing multimillion-euro projects. Now AstraZeneca’s rare disease outfit Alexion is looking to get in on the action.

Alexion on Friday announced a €65 million ($68.8 million) investment in new and enhanced capabilities across two sites in the country, including at College Park in the Dublin suburb of Blanchardstown and the Monksland Industrial Park in the central Irish town of Athlone, according to the Industrial Development Agency of Ireland.

State bat­tles over mifepri­s­tone ac­cess could tie the FDA to any post-Roe cross­roads

As more than a dozen states are now readying so-called “trigger” laws to kick into effect immediate abortion bans following the overturning of Roe v. Wade on Friday, these laws, in the works for more than a decade in some states, will likely kick off even more legal battles as states seek to restrict the use of prescription drug-based abortions.

Since Friday’s SCOTUS opinion to overturn Americans’ constitutional right to an abortion after almost 50 years, reproductive rights lawyers at Planned Parenthood and other organizations have already challenged these trigger laws in Utah and Louisiana. According to the Guttmacher Institute, other states with trigger laws that could take effect include Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.

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Ben Zimmer, Priovant CEO

Roivant un­veils lat­est spin­out as Pfiz­er en­trusts JAK1/TYK2 to Pri­o­vant

In November, Pfizer disclosed it’s spun out the Phase II dual JAK1/TYK2 inhibitor to a startup formed in collaboration with an unnamed, experienced partner.

We now know who the partner is. And as Pfizer and Roivant officially take the wraps off Priovant Therapeutics, the companies reveal that they have started two registrational trials of the drug, brepocitinib, as part of a broader plan to develop a big, first-in-class franchise spanning multiple orphan and specialty autoimmune diseases.