- The Washington Times - Friday, December 18, 2015

A day after Turing Pharmaceuticals head Martin Shkreli was arrested and charged with securities fraud, the biopharmaceutical company cut ties with the maligned CEO and announced his resignation.

Mr. Shkreli became the target of public scorn earlier this year when he took over the company and raised the price of a life-saving drug by more than 5,000 percent. The criminal charges he faces were not related to any actions he took at Turing, and instead were related to work he did as a hedge fund manager.

On Thursday, as charges were announced against Mr. Shkreli, the Switzerland-based Turing sought to distance itself from the accusations, issuing a statement that noted the legal matters concerning the CEO “are personal and have no bearing on Turing Pharmaceuticals.”

On Friday, the company followed up with the announcement that Ron Tilles, the chairman of the board, would assume the post of CEO.

“We wish to thank Martin for helping us build Turing Pharmaceuticals into the dynamic research focused company it is today, and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” Mr. Tilles said in a company-issued statement.

Mr. Shkreli stirred public outrage earlier this year when his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, jacked up the price of the drug Daraprim, which is used to treat life-threatening infections. Turing raised the price on Daraprim, a 62-year-old drug whose patent expired decades ago, from $13.50 to $750 per pill. The drug is the only approved treatment for a rare parasitic infection called toxoplasmosis that mainly strikes pregnant women, cancer patients and AIDS patients.

In his statement, Mr. Tilles said the company remains “committed to ensuring that all patients have ready and affordable access to Daraprim and Vecamyl.”

Mr. Shkreli, a 32-year-old former hedge fund manager, was indicted on seven criminal counts including securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy for a series of schemes that previously had defrauded investors. Prosecutors accused him of carrying out a Ponzi scheme in which he lost money from investors, lied about returns, and then raided $11 million in cash and stock from Retrophin, another pharmaceutical company he founded and previously headed, to pay back disgruntled clients.

In court Thursday, he plead not guilty.

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