SEQUENOM, Inc. (SQNM) announced yesterday that following the completion of an independent investigation related to test data and results for the company’s noninvasive prenatal test for Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), the company has terminated the employment of its president and CEO, as well as its senior vice president of research and development. In addition, the company has obtained the resignation of its CFO and one other officer, and terminated the employment of three other employees.
The company stated that independent counsel engaged by a special committee of independent directors interviewed over 40 witnesses and reviewed over 300,000 documents and emails. Based on the special committee’s work and recommendations, the independent members of the company’s board of directors concluded that
the company failed to put in place adequate protocols and controls for the conduct of studies in the Trisomy 21 program at the company. Certain of the company’s employees also failed to provide adequate supervision. In the absence of such protocols, controls and supervision, the test data and results in the company’s Trisomy 21 program included inadequately substantiated claims, inconsistencies and errors. Due to deficiencies in the company’s disclosure controls and procedures, in a number of instances such test data and results were reported to the public in the company’s press releases and other public statements.
The company further stated that members of the special committee and its independent counsel will make a presentation on the investigation to the staff of the SEC. The company reiterated that the public should no longer rely on any of the previously announced test data and results for the company’s noninvasive prenatal test for Trisomy 21.