In a letter to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, the founder and president of the Lantern Foundation urged Senate members to investigate a number of alleged offenses by Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. LGND.
"After several years researching the business practices of Ligand, a clear pattern of unethical conduct has emerged, including abuse of accounting loopholes and guidelines and misuse of the Orphan Drug Act of 1983, which has been used to increase the prices of its drugs dramatically," the Rev. Emmanuel Lemelson said in a press release.
Lemelson compared Ligand's activity with that of former Retrophin CEO Martin Shkreli, who was charged with securities fraud last December.
Shortly after the press release, Lemelson told Benzinga that the intrinsic value of Ligand is zero.
In the committee letter, the reverend points to Ligand's Kyprolis and Promacta as two of the highest priced blood-clotting medications on the market at $280,000 per round and $10,196 for 30 tablets respectively. He urged government regulatory and investigatory units to evaluate Ligand's alleged violation of the Orphan Drug Act and other regulations.
Lemelson also said he filed a whistleblower report this year encouraging the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to evaluate Ligand's alleged abuses for violations of civil or criminal statutes.
Ligand's stock closed at $104.09, down 3.7 percent on the day.
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