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."



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • CRA says eight agency workers fired for roles in privacy breaches

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The Canada Revenue Agency says eight of its employees were fired in the last fiscal year after violating taxpayers' privacy. Previously, the agency has not always confirmed if an employee was fired or shuffled out of the CRA for being part of a privacy breach, often citing the employee's privacy. Source
  • 2 more leaks found along Dakota Access pipeline

    Economic CTV News
    BISMARCK, N.D. -- The Dakota Access pipeline system leaked more than 100 gallons of oil in North Dakota in two separate incidents in March -- the second and third known leaks discovered as crews prepared the disputed $3.8 billion pipeline for operation. Source
  • Leaks found on Dakota Access pipeline system

    Economic CTV News
    BISMARCK, N.D. -- The Dakota Access pipeline and a feeder line leaked more than 100 gallons of oil in North Dakota in separate incidents in March as crews prepared the disputed $3.8 billion pipeline for operation. Source
  • Philippe Couillard says Quebec needs to take care of Bombardier

    Economic CTV News
    HAIFA, Israel -- Quebec's premier says the province needs to take care of Bombardier because of its unique importance to the province. Philippe Couillard is urging Quebecers to support the transportation company, which has recently faced a strong public backlash over planned hikes to executive pay. Source
  • Canadian banks set to reveal 1st earnings since CBC coverage on sales practices

    Economic CBC News
    The Canadian banks are expected to benefit from rising U.S. interest rates and fewer bad loans in the oilpatch as they start reporting their latest quarterly results this week, but analysts say worries about the housing market and consumer debt remain key concerns. Source
  • U.S. stocks higher Monday while TSX closed for May holiday weekend

    Economic CBC News
    U.S. stocks are higher Monday as the market bounces back from a turbulent week. Defence contractors are making gains and technology and consumer-focused companies are also rising. Ford is up after it replaced CEO Mark Fields, while chemicals maker Huntsman is rising after it agreed to combine with Swiss competitor Clariant. Source
  • Graduating? 5 tips from a millennial on taking control of your debt

    Economic CTV News
    High financial expectations coupled with harsh employment realities have left recent post-secondary graduates feeling a little anxious and overwhelmed. According to TD, the competitive job market, lower than anticipated income and higher than expected costs are just some of the realities facing post-secondary graduates. Source
  • Greece looks for debt help after backing further cuts

    Economic CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- Greece is seeking Monday to persuade its creditors in Europe that it has done enough to get another chunk of bailout loans and a firm commitment on alleviating Athens' hefty debt burden. Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos is meeting his counterparts from the 19-country eurozone at a meeting in Brussels, where Greece will once again be top of the agenda. Source
  • Concerns over housing, indebted consumers weigh on banks as they report Q2 results

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Canadian banks are expected to benefit from rising U.S. interest rates and fewer bad loans in the oilpatch as they start reporting their latest quarterly results this week, but analysts say worries about the housing market and consumer debt remain key concerns. Source
  • Australian iron ore magnate donates $300 million to charity

    Economic CTV News
    CANBERRA, Australia -- Iron ore mining magnate Andrew Forrest said Monday he was donating 400 million Australian dollars (US$300 million) to charities in what has been described as a new record in Australian philanthropy. Forrest, the 55-year-old chairman of Fortescue Metal Group, and his wife, Nicola, announced the money will be spent on cancer research, Australian university research, supporting disadvantaged people including Aborigines, and fighting slavery around the world. Source