Asshat Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical entrepreneur who was arrested last week on charges of security fraud, has been removed from his post as CEO of drugmaker KaloBios. Back on November 19 of this year, an investor group led by Martin Shkreli acquired 70 per cent of the outstanding shares for KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, a San Francisco-based drugmaker that specialises in developing treatments for rare and orphaned diseases. At the same time, KaloBios also announced Shkreli's appointment as Chief Executive Officer — a position that now appears to have been very short-lived.
Shkreli was arrested last week for allegedly setting up a Ponzi-like scheme at his former hedge fund MSMB Capital Management and Retrophin Inc., a firm he headed before taking charge at his private company, Turing Pharmaceuticals Inc. Today, KaleBios announced that Shkreli has been removed from his post as CEO. Shkreli, who stepped down from Turing Pharmaceuticals last week, has also resigned from the KaloBios board of directors.
KaloBios also announced today that Tony Chase, who joined the board along with Shkreli back in November, has also resigned.
In related news, Shkreli is linking the arrest to his decision to dramatically raise the price of Pyrimethamine, an antimalarial drug. Skreli made headlines a few ago months when, after buying the 60-year-old drug, which is sold under the name Daraprim, he suddenly raised the price to $US750 ($1045) a tablet from $US13.50 ($19). But as Reuters reports:
The government charges do not include activities at privately held Turing. "'Trying to find anything we could to stop him' was the attitude of the government," Shkreli told the [Wall Street] Journal in an interview, saying he was arrested because of a social experiment and teasing people over the Internet, and called the arrest unjust. According to the Journal, a Federal Bureau of Investigation official earlier said Shkreli pursued "a securities fraud trifecta of lies, deceit and greed."
While being unapologetic about the price of Daraprim, Shkreli added in the interview that Turing, from which he resigned as chief executive after the arrest, might change its approach. Turing, on Friday, replaced Shkreli with Ron Tilles, who has been chairman of the company since its launch.
Shkreli, if convicted of securities fraud, could face upwards of 20 years in prison.