This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Ampio Blames Shorts But Won't Answer Legitimate Questions About Its Drugs

Stocks in this article: AMPE

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Col. ( TheStreet) -- Instead of addressing questions about its drug-development plans posed by critics, Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) blames short sellers for trying to destroy the company.

On Friday, Ampio Chairman and CEO Mike Macaluso accused Seeking Alpha contributor Joe Dredly of trying to intentionally "damage the existing shareholders by triggering a downward pressure on their stock holdings."

In his statement, Macaluso also links Dredly with Peter Bortel, a hedge fund manager who wrote a series of negative articles about Ampio in 2011. While writing about Ampio, Bortel was also "working with a group of short selling speculators" and under investigation and a cease-and-desist order from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Macaluso claims.

This all sounds very sinister, which is what Macaluso wants investors to believe. In reality, Ampio's response is just a lazy, diversionary tactic. By attacking the credibility of its critics, the company hopes investors won't realize or care that responses to legitimate questions remain unanswered.

Bortel's Pegasus Investment Management did get into some hot water with the SEC in 2011, but it was over the erroneous classification of $90,000 in cash payments related to futures trades. The SEC's cease-and-desist order can be read here and has nothing at all to do with short selling or Ampio.

Dredly and Bortel are right to question the legitimacy of Ampio's drugs. I've done the same thing.

In April 2012, Ampio claimed to have reached agreement with regulatory officials in Australia that would allow the company to seek approval for Zertane in June 2012.

I warned investors to be wary of Ampio's misleading claims about Zertane.

June 2012 came and went without a follow-up announcement from Ampio about filing Zertane for approval in Australia. Instead, Ampio issued a press release conceding the company would be required to conduct two, phase III studies of Zertane before seeking approval in the U.S.

One year later, Ampio has still not submitted an approval application for Zertane in Australia, nor has the company started the two phase III studies required before it can seek approval in the U.S. Repeated promises by Ampio management to find a partner for Zertane have also gone unfulfilled.

Ampio spokesman Rick Giles, reached for comment via email Friday, didn't why the company has been unable to meet any of its Zertane timelines.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,356.87 +288.00 1.69%
S&P 500 2,012.89 +40.15 2.04%
NASDAQ 4,644.3120 +96.4780 2.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs