NEW YORK, Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Labaton Sucharow LLP, along with its co-counsel, announced that it reached a $473 million settlement in In re Schering-Plough Corporation / ENHANCE Securities Litigation. The recovery is the largest securities class action settlement ever against a pharmaceutical company, among the top 25 securities class action settlements of all time, and among the ten largest recoveries ever in a securities class action that did not involve a defendant company restating its earnings. The case was set to start trial on March 4, 2013 in federal court in New Jersey.
The allegations in the case center around the LDL ("bad") cholesterol lowering drug product VYTORIN®, and a clinical trial known as ENHANCE. ENHANCE sought to demonstrate that VYTORIN® was more effective than another cholesterol drug product, ZOCOR®, in combating atherosclerosis (the build-up of plaque in artery walls), as measured by the thickness of patients' carotid arteries. All patients had completed their course of treatment by April 2006, but the results were not released to the public until early 2008, shortly after the United States Congress began investigations into the delay. The ENHANCE results showed that VYTORIN® was no better than ZOCOR® in changing the thickness of patients' arteries, despite the fact that VYTORIN® did lower patients' cholesterol significantly more than ZOCOR®.
Schering-Plough Corporation ("Schering") co-marketed VYTORIN® with Merck & Co., Inc. ("Merck"), and the two companies co-sponsored the ENHANCE trial. The plaintiffs in the case alleged that Schering learned that the ENHANCE trial was a failure more than a year before the results were publicly disclosed, but that Schering withheld that information from investors. During that time, Schering and several of its executives are alleged to have made a series of material misrepresentations and omissions concerning the ENHANCE trial and the commercial viability of VYTORIN®.