Drug trials are difficult to follow, so investors rely on companies to make honest statements about their results. The complaint for this class action alleges that Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was not forthright during the class period about a problem uncovered in trials of its primary drug candidate.
The class for this action is all persons who acquired Bellicum’s securities between May 8, 2017 and January 30, 2018.
Bellicum is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that develops novel cellular immunotherapies for various kinds of cancers. Bellicum’s lead product candidate, BPX-501, is an adjunct T-cell therapy given after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The company has indicated that it is undergoing Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials.
During the class period, the complaint claims, Bellicum made optimistic statements on the progress of BPX-501, such as the following:
The company’s CEO Rick Fair also made positive statements, for example, saying he was “encouraged by the results from our ongoing BPX-501 pediatric studies and our progress toward a filing in Europe.”
However, on January 30, 2018, Bellicum put out a press release announcing that it had “received notice from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that US studies of BPX-501 have been placed on a clinical hold following three cases of encephalopathy deemed as possibly related to BPX-501.”
At this news, the company’s stock price fell by more than 25%.
The complaint claims that the company knew about the risks of encephalopathy with the drug before they were announced, making its previous optimistic statements violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.