DOJ, SEC Charge Former Immunomedics Finance Chief With Insider Trading
By Colin Kellaher
A former top executive of biotechnology company Immunomedics
Inc. and another former employee with whom he was romantically
involved have been arrested on insider-trading charges related to
the company's key breast-cancer drug.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey and
the Securities and Exchange Commission said they brought charges
against Usama Malik, who served as chief financial officer of
Immunomedics from 2018 through 2020, and Lauren Wood, the company's
former head of corporate communications.
According to the complaints, Mr. Malik last year learned that
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had permitted the company to
halt a clinical trial for the breast-cancer drug, later approved
and marketed as Trodelvy, because the existing trial data provided
compelling evidence that the drug was effective.
Mr. Malik allegedly shared the information with Ms. Wood, with
whom he was living, and other family members, who then bought
shares of Immunomedics ahead of the company's announcement of the
FDA decision. Shares of Immunomedics nearly doubled on April 6,
2020, after the company issued a press release.
The Justice Department alleged that Ms. Wood realized a gross
profit of more than $200,000 on her trades and gave $65,000 to Mr.
Trodelvy subsequently won FDA approval and was the prized drug
in last year's $21 billion acquisition of Immunomedics by Gilead
The DOJ said it arrested Mr. Malik, 47 years old, and Ms. Wood,
33, both of Washington, D.C., and charged them with securities
fraud, while the SEC said it filed civil charges alleging
violations of securities laws. The securities fraud count carries a
potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine, the
Mr. Malik, who joined Immunomedics as chief business officer in
2017 after serving as global vice president of strategy and
innovation at Pfizer Inc. for four years, earlier this year was
named chief executive of privately held precision-oncology company
Write to Colin Kellaher at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 02, 2021 14:24 ET (19:24 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.