As trouble mounts, a chastened Martin Shkreli claims bad boy persona was just …

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

CompaniesShkreli terminated as KaloBios chief executive.

Mr Shkreli was charged last week for allegedly operating a Ponzi-like scheme when he ran a different publicly-traded biotech company. KaloBios shares plummeted 53 percent Thursday after Shkreli, 32, was arrested in New York on charges related to one of his previous companies, Retrophin Inc.

Bloomberg’s Winnie O’Kelley and Bloomberg Gadfly’s Lisa Abramowicz examine the future of Turing Pharmaceticals following the arrest of Martin Shkreli on accusations of fraud unrelated to the company.Disgraced ex-pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli claims he has been targeted by legal authorities because of his much-hated drug price hikes and his over-the-top public persona.Federal investigators are picking on Martin Shkreli because he dared to boost Daraprim sales 50-fold and moonlighted as an online troll, the “Pharma bro” claims. Last weekend, the University of California at Davis and Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida said they had suspended a planned drug trial sponsored by KaloBios. Earlier this year, after his firm Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to distribute Daraprim – which can be essential in the treatment of HIV-positive people – Shkreli raised the price overnight to $750 a tablet from $13.50.

The former hedge fund manager rose to national prominence after Turing Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held biotech company he ran, increased the price of a drug that treats a rare disorder by 5,000 per cent overnight. The increase propelled Shkreli to the media spotlight, with Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pillorying him for gouging and he was pulled into congressional drug-pricing investigations. ”’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. It was something a watershed moment that sparked criticism not just of Turing, but of other companies in the pharmaceutical industry that have built business models of acquiring drugs and then sharply increasing their prices. The company’s stock was trading at less than $1 before he made the move, and it subsequently rose to as high as $39.50, giving the company a market value of more than $100 million. In a separate incident, on Sunday, Martin Shkreli had lost control of his Twitter account to hackers, hours after he took to Twitter to plead his innocence, his spokesman said.

In a series of seven tweets, Shkreli’s account offered to give away money, raffle off Wu-Tang Clan’s one-of-a-kind secret album and told his followers he had ‘anal aids’. Shkreli recently emerged as the €2million buyer of the sole copy of what has been called the world’s rarest album: the Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, which the group auctioned to only one person on the condition that it not be put to commercial use. ‘I’m staring at a Picasso in my living room right now that’s no different from the Wu-Tang box, except it’s about 20 times more expensive,’ he told HipHopDX. He bragged about buying the $2 million rights to a Wu-Tang album and shamelessly made fun of people on his Twitter page, which was apparently hacked on Sunday along with his cell phone account, he told the Journal.

Despite the bad rep, Shkreli insists that few people, not even the hundreds that watch him play chess and comb through dating websites via live stream, really know him.

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