Monday, April 25, 2022

Emergent CEO sold more than $10 million in stock before scrapping J&J COVID-19 vaccine doses: report


Emergent BioSolutions has faced a number of back-to-back PR crises since production issues at its Baltimore facility placed the company under intense scrutiny. The CDMO’s stock price has tumbled as a result, but it appears CEO Robert Kramer cashed out some of his shares just in time. 

Citing SEC filings, Kramer sold more than $10 million worth of Emergent stock in January and early February, right before the company’s shares began to tumble following its quarterly earnings reported on February 19, The Washington Post reports

That was also before The The New York Times reportedy in late March that the company had to dump up to 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine over an ingredient mix-up at its Baltimore plant. J&J has since taken control over the facility and AstraZeneca, which was also making its vaccine there, was forced to move out. 

Shares of the contract manufacturer have fallen from roughly $125 in mid-February to a low of $62 per share, a more than 50% decline. If Kramer were to have sold his shares at Emergent’s current market price, they would fetch about $5.5 million, the Post reports. The transactions mark his first substantive sale of the company’s stock since 2016. 

The sales were part of Kramer’s compensation package and were made under a trading plan—designed to protect executives and their sales from insider trading probes—first adopted in November, the Post reports. Under the plan, Kramer purchased the shares for about $2.5 million to sell at market price. The executive’s remaining stake in the company is worth roughly $10.1 million, according to the report. 

RELATED: FDA blasts troubled COVID-19 vaccine producer Emergent for quality control and cleanliness issues

An Emergent spokesperson defended Kramer’s stock sales, adding that “any insinuation of wrongdoing is without evidence or merit,” the Post reports. However, the company didn’t address whether Kramer was aware of the company’s upcoming financial results or issues with its vaccine production before the transaction were made.

Kramer’s stock sales come amid a slew of damaging reports against Emergent, including a Congressional probe into the manufacturer’s $628 million federal contract to produce COVID-19 vaccines for Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. 

The House Oversight Committee announced last week that it will look at the company’s influence within the Trump administration, and its “documented history” of quality control issues and contractual missteps. The committee asked Kramer and Executive Chairman Fuad El-Hibri to testify before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on May 19. 

RELATED: Lawmakers launch probe into Emergent’s COVID-19 vaccine contracts, manufacturing missteps

The same day the lawmakers unveiled the investigation, the FDA cited Emergent for a number of cleanliness and quality control issues following an investigation at its Baltimore plant, including its failure to properly investigate the ingredient mix-up that ruined the J&J shots. 

Meanwhile, an FDA inspection of the same plant last April showed the company lacked necessary personnel to produce a coronavirus vaccine, and another inspection in June raised additional concerns about poorly trained staff and quality control shortfalls.



Source link

Latest Articles

Widely used chemical linked to 1,00,000 US deaths per year: Study

NEW YORK: Daily exposure to phthalates, a group of chemicals used in everything from plastic containers to makeup, may lead to approximately 100,000 deaths...

Foods to Reduce Inflammation and Strengthen the Immune System

Did you know that you can greatly reduce inflammation and boost your immune system by simply incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods and beverages into your...

Personal Selling

INTRODUCTION Early sellers and traders were not held in high esteem. The Roman word for salesman meant ‘Cheater’ and...

Building Muscle on a Vegan Diet

There are a lot of  misconceptions surrounding veganism. The notion that those who practice it are lacking in protein and therefore muscles is the...

Electrodes in brain new hope for severe cases of epilepsy

Neurosurgeons at All India Institute of Medical Sciences have devised a new technique for operating on children suffering from a severe form of epilepsy...