KaloBios fires Shkreli, embattled pharmaceutical executive reviled for price hikes

TRENTON, N.J. -- In barely 24 hours, Martin Shkreli went from an egotistical pharmaceutical boy wonder running two small drug developers and live-streaming his daily activities to unemployed and facing securities fraud charges that could land him in prison for years.

See Full Article

Shkreli, already reviled by the public for astronomical price gouging on a life-saving drug, was terminated by KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, the company disclosed Monday.

The South San Francisco, California, company said in a statement that it terminated Shkreli as its CEO last Thursday and that he resigned from its board of directors then. That was the same day that Shkreli, a 32-year-old former hedge fund manager, was arrested in New York and charged with securities fraud and conspiracy related to a company he previously ran.

Shkreli was led from his apartment in handcuffs by authorities Thursday morning and later pleaded not guilty and was released on $5 million bail. The charges carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison if he's convicted. By the time Shkreli made bail, Turing Pharmaceuticals Inc., which he had founded and ran, announced he had resigned as the CEO.

It was a surprising reversal, even for an executive dubbed the "most hated man in America" this fall after he jacked up the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Daraprim is the only approved drug for a life-threatening parasitic infection that mainly strikes pregnant women, cancer patients and AIDS patients.

Amid mounting criticism from patients, doctors and politicians, Shkreli pledged to lower Daraprim's price, but later reneged and instead offered hospitals a 50 per cent discount -- still amounting to a 2,500 per cent increase. Patients normally take most of the weeklong treatment at home, so they still face the 5,000 per cent price increase, though Turing is offering financial aid to those who can't afford the drug.

Shkreli has since said that law enforcement targeted him because of the price hike.

Meanwhile, Shkreli's Twitter account was hacked Sunday. Posts including "I am now a god," "Anyone want free money? Willing to donate hundreds of thousands to charities before I go to prison ..." and numerous unprintable ones accumulated on the page before he regained control and deleted them. Many are still viewable on Twitter under "martin shkreli hacked."

His You Tube account, where he's frequently live-streamed himself working on his home computer, talking to himself and eating, also was hit with posts belittling him and hasn't been active since Sunday.

KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a faltering drug company whose shares skyrocketed after Nov. 19, when Martin Shkreli disclosed a huge stake and became its CEO and board chairman. At the same time, a few people resigned from the company's board of directors and were replaced by three new people. One of them, Tony Chase, resigned from that position last Thursday when Shkreli was ousted.

Trading in KaloBios shares has been halted since Thursday. The company wouldn't answer questions Monday about who will take control and when its shares will resume trading.

It has been attempting to develop drugs to treat cancer and leukemia. Its shares tumbled 70 per cent in January after its drug for lung infections failed in testing. The company announced it would shut down right before Shkreli and a group of investors swooped in with cash and pledges of financing to keep it going.

Federal prosecutors allege that from 2009 to 2014, Shkreli made bad trades that lost money of some investors in his hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management, then looted a pharmaceutical company called Retrophin, where he was then CEO, for $11 million to pay back his disgruntled clients.

On Saturday, Shkreli tweeted: "I am confident I will prevail."


Latest Economic News

  • Former Expos owner, Seagram's titan Charles Bronfman reflects on life as a 'late bloomer'

    Economic CTV News
    He steered Seagram's Co. Ltd. to great success and brought the Montreal Expos to Canada, but Canadian billionaire Charles Bronfman insists he was a "late bloomer," after years of struggling with low self-esteem in his early life. Source
  • iPhone 7 sales, holiday outlook in focus as Apple reports after the bell Tuesday

    Economic CBC News
    Apple Inc. will report fourth-quarter and full-year earnings after the close of trading Tuesday, with analysts expecting the tech giant to report a third straight quarterly revenue drop and its first drop in annual revenue in 15 years. Source
  • Trilogy estimates pipeline spill at 250,000 litres of oil and water

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY - Trilogy Energy Corp. estimates a leak from its pipeline in west-central Alberta released 250,000 litres of oil and water before it was discovered in early October. The company announced the preliminary estimate Tuesday, the same day the Alberta Energy Regulator formally launched an investigation of the spill 16 kilometres northeast of Fox Creek, Alta. Source
  • Caterpillar stung by global economic funk

    Economic CTV News
    PEORIA, Ill. -- Caterpillar's third-quarter profit was essentially cut in half with the global economy stuck in a funk, and the company said that it expects that malaise to extend into next year. The construction and mining equipment maker lowered its outlook for the year and shares of Caterpillar slipped almost 2 per cent in midday trading Tuesday. Source
  • Report: Gunmen still control metals mined for modern gadgets

    Economic CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- Violent gunmen still menace pick-and-shovel miners in eastern Congo, a new report finds, despite years of efforts to loosen their grip by local reformers, Western activists and companies like Apple and Intel that use minerals from the African region in their products. Source
  • Seniors watch twice as much television as young people do, CRTC numbers show

    Economic CBC News
    Canadians are watching less TV and radio but consuming more media than ever before, new numbers from the CRTC show. According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Canadians are listening to an average of 16.2 hours of radio per week, a number which is down almost two per cent from 2014's level. Source
  • Fiat Chrysler boosts earnings forecast on strong North American results

    Economic CBC News
    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Tuesday increased its 2016 earnings forecast for the second time this year after strong results in North America helped it return to a profit in the third quarter. The company reported an adjusted net profit of 606 million euros, compared with a loss of 387 million euros in the same period last year. Source
  • U.S. judge approves $15B settlement in Volkswagen emissions scandal

    Economic CBC News
    A U.S. federal judge in San Francisco has approved a $15 billion US court settlement of most claims against Volkswagen for its emissions-cheating scandal. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer signed the order Tuesday approving the largest auto-scandal settlement in the U.S. Source
  • BlackBerry unveils latest smartphone designed by outside firm

    Economic CBC News
    BlackBerry released on Tuesday its second smartphone designed and built externally, the latest development in the company's push away from manufacturing handsets as it focuses more on its security software. The DTEK60, designed and manufactured by TCL Corp. Source
  • Atlantic provinces need to shed trade, regulatory barriers: study

    Economic CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Atlantic Canada needs a deal to reduce regulatory and trade barriers for areas as basic as the rules on trucks that carry goods around the region, says a report by an economic think tank. Source