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

  • Air Canada seeks credit card partner for new loyalty program

    Economic CBC News
    Air Canada is looking for a financial services company to partner with it on a co-branded credit card, as part of its plans to launch a new loyalty program by 2020. The airline said Tuesday it is initiating an official Request for Proposal from any banks or other financial services companies to come forward with their pitch to handle the financial side of the program, which will be linked to a credit card and see members accrue points they can use for Air Canada flights when they use the card,…
  • Toys R Us files for Chapter 11 reorganization

    Economic Toronto Sun
    Toys “R” Us has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and says it intends to follow suit in Canada. The company filed Chapter 11 documents late Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Virginia and says its Canadian subsidiary plans to seek protection in parallel proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Source
  • Former B.C. gov't asked oil and gas industry to refine climate recommendations

    Economic CTV News
    VANCOUVER - British Columbia's former Liberal government asked oil and gas corporations to "refine" the language of recommendations made by an advisory panel before it finalized its Climate Leadership Plan, documents show. Meeting agendas and presentations obtained under freedom-of-information legislation by the left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives provide insight into the extent of industry consultation on the plan that was released in August 2016. Source
  • Toys R Us files for bankruptcy protection

    Economic CBC News
    Toys R Us, the big box toy retailer struggling with $5 billion in long-term debt, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. ahead of the key holiday shopping season, saying it will continue its normal business operations. Source
  • Montreal emerging as luxury real estate 'hot spot': Sotheby's

    Economic CTV News
    VANCOUVER - Montreal is emerging as a luxury real estate "hot spot," while Vancouver and Toronto sales should pick up this fall after somewhat sluggish times, according to a new report. Sotheby's International Realty Canada's rosy outlook comes despite a slew of policy changes, including some from Ottawa and a couple provincial governments designed to cool the country's hot housing markets. Source
  • Facebook facing an 'era of accountability'

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK - The problems keep piling up for Facebook, and it's unclear how long the internet giant will be able to brush them aside as it barrels toward acquiring its next billion users. The world's biggest social network has unwittingly allowed groups backed by the Russian government to target users with ads. Source
  • Global shares mixed but Nikkei rises on yen, muted elsewhere

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO -- Global shares were mixed Tuesday, as investors awaited comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve, but Japan's benchmark rose on optimism over a weak yen and a record finish on Wall Street. KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 inched down less than 0.1 per cent in early trading to 5,227.91. Source
  • Asian stocks mixed ahead of comments from U.S. Federal Reserve

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO - Asian shares were mixed Tuesday, as investors awaited comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve, and Japan's benchmark rose on optimism over a weak yen and a record finish on Wall Street. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1.5 per cent to 20,197.56 in early trading, coming off a national holiday Monday. Source
  • Toys 'R' Us files for bankruptcy protection in U.S.; plans to do same in Canada

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - Toys 'R' Us has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and says it intends to follow suit in Canada. The company filed Chapter 11 documents late Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Virginia and says its Canadian subsidiary plans to seek protection in parallel proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Source
  • Wisconsin governor signs bill to spend US$3B to woo Chinese TV-maker Foxconn

    Economic CTV News
    STURTEVANT, Wis. -- Gov. Scott Walker signed a US$3 billion incentive package Monday for Foxconn Technology Group to build a flat-screen plant in southeastern Wisconsin, a deal he says will provide thousands of jobs for generations. Source