The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Nader Pourhassan, the former CEO of CytoDyn Inc., with fraud and insider trading in connection with providing misleading information to shareholders about the progress of a clinical research treatment for COVID-19 and HIV.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Pourhassan repeatedly issued press releases exaggerating CytoDyn’s progress with regard to leronlimab, an antibody that was administered to patients in clinical trials to treat various diseases. The complaint alleges that, in an April 2020 press release, CytoDyn falsely announced that the company had submitted a completed Biologics License Application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—a key milestone that caused the company’s stock price to increase. As set forth in the complaint, the FDA submission was woefully inadequate, and the FDA alerted the company of those deficiencies within days; however, Pourhassan did not alert shareholders to this information. In the meantime, Pourhassan allegedly sold approximately $15.8 million worth of CytoDyn stock based on the false information, netting profits of more than $4.7 million.
Source: SEC.gov | SEC Charges Former CEO of Biotech Company CytoDyn with Fraud, Insider Trading