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Bharat Biotech's US partner for Covaxin, Ocugen, faces class action lawsuit

Pomerantz alleges in the class action lawsuit that, the defendants (Ocugen) have made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company's business, operations, and compliance policies.

July 22, 2021 / 01:09 PM IST
A file image of Covaxin.

A file image of Covaxin.

US-based law firm Pomerantz on July 19 announced that it had filed a class action lawsuit against Bharat Biotech's US partner which has licence to develop and distribute Covaxin in US and Canada citing certain violations of the US federal securities laws.

Pomerantz alleges in the class action lawsuit that, the defendants (Ocugen) have made materially false and misleading statements regarding the company's business, operations, and compliance policies.

The class action was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons and entities other than Defendants that purchased or otherwise acquired Ocugen securities between February 2, 2021, and June 10, 2021.

"... failed to disclose that the information submitted to the (US)FDA was insufficient to support an EUA, Ocugen would not file an Emergency Use Authorization with the FDA, (and) as a result of the foregoing, the Company's financial statements, as well as defendants' statements about Ocugen's business, operations, and prospects, were false and misleading or lacked a reasonable basis," Pomerantz alleged in its law suit.

On February 2, Ocugen announced an exclusive licensing agreement with Bharat Biotech to obtain exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and commercialise the latter's COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin in the US.

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Pomerantz said based on this news, the Ocugen's share price rose from a close of $1.81 per share on February 1, to close at $3.26 per share on February 2, 2021, an increase of approximately 80.1 percent.

"On February 5, submitted investor presentation that described in great detail the Covaxin vaccine characteristics, the "unmet need in the United States" and Ocugen's plan to develop and file an Emergency Use Authorization ("EUA") with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA")," Pomerantz said.

"On June 10, 2021, Ocugen issued a press release announcing that it would pursue a "biologics license application" with the FDA instead of the previously announced EUA," it added.

Pomerantz said on the release of the news, the company's share price declined from $9.31 per share of Ocugen stock on June 9, 2021, to close at $6.69 per share on June 10, 2021, a drop of approximately 28.14 percent.
Viswanath Pilla is a business journalist with 14 years of reporting experience. Based in Mumbai, Pilla covers pharma, healthcare and infrastructure sectors for Moneycontrol.
first published: Jul 19, 2021 07:53 pm

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