Shareholders accuse Emergent execs of insider trading

July 8, 2021

Shareholders of Emergent BioSolutions have accused execs at the embattled CDMO of insider trading in four separate lawsuits.

Emergent has been at the center of a swirl of controversy since last March when it was revealed that contamination between AstraZeneca and J&J COVID-19 vaccines being manufactured at the company’s Bayview facility led to about 15 million J&J shots being tossed. In April, the FDA halted production at the plant and since then, fresh reports have shown that the CDMO has been forced to discard a total of 75 million vaccine doses.

Now, with the company’s stock valued at about half of what it was last summer, a number of shareholders are in revolt. According to a report in The New York Times, shareholders say that executives failed to communicate its manufacturing challenges while at the same time unloading about $20 million in stocks.

In one of the suits, the Lincolnshire Police Pension Fund says that the company sold the shares “while in possession of material, nonpublic information that artificially inflated the price.”

An Emergent spokesperson said the lawsuits were “without merit” and that company executives follow policies that “prevent any improper securities trading.”

Even with its stumbles, Emergent, which secured a $628 million manufacturing contract under Operation Warp Speed, said that it is expecting record revenues this year. The company is still 40 million doses short of the 100 million doses of the J&J shots promised in the government contract.