Vaxart faces federal investigation after allegedly distorting role in government program Operation Warp Speed

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Vaxart said in an Oct. 14 Securities and Exchange Commission case that it was being investigated by the SEC and federal prosecutors, and that it had been summoned to appear in July. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

In June, Vaxart (VXRT) issued a press release saying “Vaxart Covid-19 vaccine selected for US government Operation Warp Speed”. The news helped boost Vaxart’s share price to nearly $ 17, from around $ 3, and hedge fund Armistice Capital, which partially controlled Vaxart, sold shares for a profit of over $ 200 million. dollars, according to its filings with the SEC.

A few weeks before the announcement, Vaxart granted modifications to the warrant agreements, which allowed Armistice to sell almost all of its shares, which it did after the share price rose. sharply.

In July, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) told the New York Times that it did not have a funding deal or negotiations with Vaxart. Armistice and HHS did not respond to requests for comment.

Vaxart was not chosen by Operation Warp Speed ​​to receive research funding, but rather had limited involvement, HHS told the New York Times in July. Vaxart’s vaccine, an oral tablet, has only been implicated in preliminary primate studies sponsored by Warp Speed.In a statement to CNN Business on Saturday, the company said, “The Vaxart Non-Human Primate Challenge study was organized and funded by Operation Warp Speed, as reported in the company’s June 26 press release. 2020. The statements made in this press release are correct and any claim to the contrary is without merit. ”

In his October SEC filing, Vaxart wrote that he had provided the documents requested by the summons to demonstrate his role in Operation Warp Speed. “The company has voluntarily provided the documents requested by the SEC and is cooperating with this informal investigation,” she said.

Vaxart and its board have been repeatedly sued by shareholders who accuse the company of allegedly inflating Vaxart’s share price by distorting its role in Operation Warp Speed. Vaxart addressed these lawsuits in its filing, saying it is seeking to have two of the lawsuits dismissed, while another class action lawsuit is still pending.

On October 14, Vaxart announced the encouraging results of its study on hamsters given oral doses of its Covid-19 vaccine.

The stock was down 3.5%, to around $ 6, on Friday night.

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