Akari Therapeutics CEO Resigns

By Maria Armental Features Dow Jones Newswires

Akari Therapeutics PLC said Tuesday that its chief executive Dr. Gur Roshwalb, under fire over his involvement in the publication of a report that wrongfully claimed one of the company's drugs was as good as a blockbuster drug on the market, resigned.

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Dr. Roshwalb submitted his resignation Monday after an internal review found that, against company policy, he had reviewed and approved the report published by Edison Investment Research, Akari disclosed Tuesday in a securities filing.

The company couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Edison later retracted the report, which claimed that Akari's lead candidate Coversin matched Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Soliris based on preliminary data from a mid-stage clinical trial, but said that Akari had seen it before publication, prompting the internal review.

In addition, the pharmaceutical firm said an April 24 press release incorrectly said one of the patients participating on the clinical trial had met the primary endpoint.

Executive Chairman Dr. Ray Prudo, who assumed the CEO post on a temporary basis after Dr. Roshwalb was put on administrative leave on May 12, will continue to serve as acting CEO, Akarai said.

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At least two complaints seeking class-action status have been filed in federal court against Akari.

The company's ADRs, which have lost roughly three-fourths of their value since Akari's press release on the Coversin clinical trial, fell to $4.75 in extended trading after setting a 52-week low at Tuesday's closing.

Write to Maria Armental at maria.armental@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 30, 2017 19:55 ET (23:55 GMT)