Tech Moves

CytoDyn CEO ousted after yr of lawsuits, FDA rebuke, ongoing investigations

CytoDyn CFO and interim president Antonio Migliarese. (CytoDyn Picture)

Nader Pourhassan has been ousted as CEO and president by the board of administrators of embattled Vancouver, Wash.-based CytoDyn, the corporate introduced Tuesday. Chief Monetary Officer Antonio Migliarese will function interim president whereas the corporate searches for a brand new CEO.

Pourhassan’s termination comes as the corporate faces investigations from the U.S. Securities and Trade Fee and the U.S. Division of Justice. The corporate was additionally strongly rebuked by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration in Might.

The FDA chastised the corporate for its claims about an experimental drug, leronlimab, which it examined in a failed scientific trial for COVID-19. The rebuke was adopted by subpoenas from the SEC and the DOJ for paperwork associated to firm statements about the usage of leronlimab in HIV, most cancers, and COVID-19, as a part of ongoing investigations.

“Touchdown in hassle with the FDA, SEC, and DOJ in a single yr is one helluva biotech bingo card,” stated STAT Information in its annual roundup of biopharma’s “Worst CEO’s” – which included Pourhassan. And if that was not sufficient, the corporate additionally final yr confronted lawsuits from shareholders and a failed try at a board takeover by activist shareholders.

The takeover bid supplied a fair weirder twist to CytoDyn’s yr. The takeover try was led partly by former CytoDyn advisor Bruce Patterson, a doctor and CEO of diagnostics firm IncellDx. Patterson can also be affiliated with the Entrance Line Covid-19 Crucial Care Alliance, which endorses the unproven drug ivermectin to deal with COVID-19 in protocols he helped develop. Patterson treats sufferers utilizing IncellDX merchandise, based on a report in Mom Jones.

In a lawsuit over the takeover bid, a Delaware choose stated that the shareholder group didn’t present details about an “apparent battle.” Patterson had beforehand lobbied CytoDyn to purchase IncellDX. “The board legitimately suspected that Patterson and others have been eager on revisiting the failed try to mix IncellDx and CytoDyn,” the choose stated.

In accordance with the Portland Enterprise Journal, Pourhassan earned $10 million in compensation final yr, greater than some other Portland-area govt besides these working for Nike. Board director Jordan Naydenov earned near $1 million.

The corporate has ongoing scientific trials of leronlimab for a number of circumstances, however in a latest report back to the SEC the corporate stated “our money reserves are extraordinarily low,” Fierce Biotech reported. The corporate’s inventory rose sharply earlier within the yr, buoyed by hopes that leronlimab could be efficient in opposition to COVID-19, and has since dropped considerably.

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