Emergent BioSolutions Stock Falls As Executives Face Questions As Part Of Botched Vaccine Probe

  • The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus announced last month that they were opening an investigation into Emergent BioSolutions Inc EBS, with two top executives from the company to testify at the hearing today.
  • Founder and Chairman Fuad El-Hibri, and its CEO, Robert G. Kramer, will testify before the House panel beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET.
  • Ahead of Kramer and El-Hibri’s appearance, the committee released preliminary findings that were expected to be the subject of questioning.
  • “The committees’ investigation raises troubling new questions about the lucrative contract Emergent received under the Trump Administration, the company’s failure to address manufacturing problems that led to the destruction of millions of desperately needed coronavirus vaccine doses, and large bonuses paid to top executives despite these failures,” according to a staff memo distributed.
  • El-Hibri and his wife have given at least $150K to groups affiliated with the top Republican on the panel, Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, as well as Mr. Scalise’s campaigns, according to The New York Times.
  • The company was awarded a $628M contract last year to reserve and expand space to produce COVID-19 vaccines, but no doses have been cleared for use.
  • A manufacturing mix-up in March at the Baltimore facility ruined 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s JNJ vaccine and put Emergent in the eyes of the regulators. An FDA inspection of the plant in April found multiple deficiencies.
  • The report includes internal documents in which Kramer was given a $1.2 million bonus. Sean Kirk, who oversaw manufacturing operations, was given a bonus of $100K on top of a regular bonus of more than $320K for “exceptional performance” last year.
  • Three company executive vice presidents received bonuses between $445,000 and $462,000.
  • Price Action: EBS shares are down 2.5% at $56.80 during the market session on the last check Wednesday.
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Posted In: BiotechGovernmentNewsHealth CareFDALegalGeneralBriefsCOVID-19 Vaccine
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