The former head of corporate communications for New Jersey-based biotech company Immunomedics pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to an insider trading scheme involving a proven breast cancer drug. in premarket clinical trials.
Lauren S. Wood, 33, of Washington, DC, pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud in Newark, Jersey. Wood, who is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 21, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine.
Federal authorities allege that Immunomedics’ former chief financial officer, Usama Malik, shared nonpublic information about the drug with Wood, who was allegedly his girlfriend at the time. Wood then used this information to make a profit of $213,618 from the sale of shares after the information became public.
Immunomedics was acquired by California-based Gilead Sciences on October 23, 2020, for approximately $21 billion.
The breast cancer drug is “an antibody-based drug designed to treat certain breast cancer patients with very limited treatment options beyond chemotherapy.” It was publicly announced on April 6, 2020.
Ex-girlfriend of former Immunomedics exec Usama Malik pleads guilty in insider trading scheme https://t.co/N2Q0750bdo #strategy #competitive intelligence #marketing #pharmacy #pharmacist #health care #biotechnology #product marketing pic.twitter.com/fupqMtlZau
– Dr. Timos Papagatsias (@timos_) June 23, 2022
Malik, 47, faces charges of insider trading, securities fraud and securities fraud conspiracy. He was living with Wood at the time he allegedly shared information with her, according to authorities.
According to his LinkedIn account, Malik served as CFO of Immunomedics from August 2018 to December 2020. Malik’s account notes that he “grew up between Nigeria and Pakistan with his family and moved to the US at the age of 15 years old”.