Akari Therapeutics' (AKTX) - Get Report American depository receipts were down 9% to $5.36 in premarket trading on Wednesday. The London-based firm on Tuesday said its CEO Gur Roshwalb has resigned and a search is underway for a replacement.
Earlier this month, Akari has formed a special committee to investigate whether company staff was involved in the creation of a paid-for-equity research report by Edison Investment Research that compared Akari's Coversin with Alexion Pharmaceutical's (ALXN) - Get Report Soliris based on the result of a Phase 2 trial. The report issued by Edison on April 26 was retracted a day later due to "material inaccuracies."
While the review was pending, Roshwalb was placed on administrative leave and executive chairman Dr. Ray Prudo temporarily assumed the CEO role at the firm.
In a statement on Tuesday, Akari said that following the review, "the company determined that the Edison Report was reviewed and approved by Dr. Roshwalb, in contravention of company policy."
Prudo will continue to serve as interim CEO while the company looks for a permanent replacement for Roshwalb.
Also on Tuesday, Akari announced a correction to the fifth patient data in the company's press release issued on April 24 regarding data from an interim analysis of a phase two study of Coversin.
Among the other biotech movers on Wednesday was Array BioPharma (ARRY) - Get Report , up 3.2% to $8.11. The Boulder, Colo.-based firm and Osaka, Japan-based Ono Pharmaceutical on Wednesday unveiled a license, development and commercialization agreement for Array's late-stage oncology compounds, binimetinib and encorafenib.
Array will receive an upfront payment of $31.6 million and will retain exclusive commercialization rights for binimetinib and encorafenib in the U.S., Canada and Israel. In addition, Array could receive up to an additional $156 million in potential milestone payments.
Ono will receive rights to develop and commercialize binimetinib and encorafenib in Japan and South Korea. Array will be eligible for tiered, double-digit royalties based on product sales in the two countries.
The news came on the heels of Array's announcement on Tuesday of its collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) - Get Report on clinical studies for Array's MEK inhibitor, binimetinib, for use in combination with Bristol-Myers' Opdivo and with Opdivo and Yervoy as potential regimens for treating metastatic colorectal cancer in patients with microsatellite stable tumors.
Shares of Amicus Therapeutics (FOLD) - Get Report were up 3.1% to $7.90. The Cranbury, N.J.-based firm announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given rare pediatric disease designation to SD-101 for the treatment of epidermolysis bullosa.
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