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Drugmaker KaloBios Fires CEO Shkreli

  • VOA News

FILE - Martin Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager under fire for buying a pharmaceutical company and ratcheting up the price of a life-saving drug, is escorted by law enforcement agents after being taken into custody following a securities probe, in New York.

FILE - Martin Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager under fire for buying a pharmaceutical company and ratcheting up the price of a life-saving drug, is escorted by law enforcement agents after being taken into custody following a securities probe, in New York.

A U.S. pharmaceutical company announced Monday it had terminated CEO Martin Shkreli in what is the latest fallout from his arrest last week on security fraud charges.

KaloBios said Shkreli was fired on Thursday, the same day he was arrested and stepped down as CEO of another drugmaker, Turing Pharmaceuticals.

He drew ire earlier this year when Turing bought a drug used by patients with AIDS and certain types of cancer and promptly raised its price from $13.50 to $700 per pill.

The 32-year-old told the Wall Street Journal that his arrest is an "injustice" and that federal authorities targeted him because of a social experiment and teasing people using the Internet.

The charges filed against Shkreli are connected to his leadership role at two of his former companies, hedge fund MSMB Capital Management and biopharmaceutical firm Retrophin.

Prosecutors say Shkreli lied to investors about losses at the hedge fund and, after using the same controversial tactic of buying old drugs and raising prices at Retrophin, used that firm's assets to repay the hedge fund clients.

Shkreli has defended his moves to raise drug prices, saying in September he had a duty to maximize profits for his investors and would do so again if given the choice.

He is free on $5 million bond and says he is innocent.

"I am confident I will prevail," he posted Saturday on Twitter. "The allegations against me are baseless and without merit."

Sunday Shkreli's Twitter account was hacked and flooded with posts including "I am now a god" and "Anyone want free money?" he has since regained control of the account.

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