St. Louis, Missouri 2020-10-18 10:49:00 –
(CNN)-California biotechnology company Vaxart working on the Covid-19 vaccine is under investigation by the federal government and has invested heavily for exaggerating its involvement in the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed program to develop Covid. Home sued-19 vaccines and treatments.
Vaxart said in a statement filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission on October 14 that it was under investigation by the SEC and federal prosecutors, and that a grand jury subpoena was filed by the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California in July.
In June, Vaxart released a press release stating that “Vaxart’s Covid-19 vaccine was selected for the US government’s Warp Speed operation.” The news helped raise Vaxart’s share price from about $ 3 to nearly $ 17, and according to SEC Filing, hedge fund Armistice Capital, which had partial control of Vaxart, sold its shares with a profit of over $ 200 million. did.
A few weeks before the announcement, Vaxart approved the amendment to the Warrant Agreement. This allowed Armistice to sell almost all of its shares. This was done when the stock price soared.
In July, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) told The New York Times that it had not entered into a funding agreement or negotiation with Vaxart. The Armistice Agreement and HHS did not respond to requests for comment.
Vaxart was not selected by Operation Warp Speed to receive research funding, but instead had limited involvement, HHS told The New York Times in July. The Vaxart vaccine, an oral tablet, was only involved in a WarpSpeed-sponsored preliminary study of primates.
In a statement to CNN Business on Saturday, the company said, “Vaxart’s non-human primate challenge research was organized and funded by Operation Warp Speed, as stated in a corporate press release on June 26, 2020. The statement in that press release is as follows: It is accurate and the objection is unfounded. “
At the SEC filing in October, Vaxart wrote that the subpoena provided the documents requested to demonstrate its role in Operation Warpspeed. “The company voluntarily provides the documents requested by the SEC and is cooperating with this informal investigation,” he said.
Vaxart and its board of directors have been sued several times by shareholders accusing the company of soaring Vaxart’s share price for misrepresenting its role in Operation Warp Speed. Vaxart addressed those proceedings, stating that it wanted to dismiss the two proceedings while another class action proceeding was still in progress.
On October 14, Vaxart presented promising results from a study of hamsters receiving the Covid-19 vaccine orally.
As of Friday evening, stock prices fell 3.5% to about $ 6.