Since Martin Shkreli was arrested for securities fraud, he has one fewer business to run: Turing Pharmaceuticals announced this morning Shkreli has resigned his post as CEO.
At Turing, Shkreli’s price hike on the drug Daraprim — used to treat parasitic infections that often afflict people with HIV — from $13.50 to $750 a pill turned him into an international poster boy for pharma-industry greed this year.
In the statement announcing Shkreli’s resignation, interim CEO Ron Tilles said, “We wish to thank Martin for helping us build Turing Pharmaceuticals into the dynamic research focused company it is today, and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
His departure from Turing marks the second time Shkreli has built a company only to leave under no small amount of controversy. The federal government is accusing Shkreli and his lawyer Evan Greebel of defrauding investors and others tied to Shkreli’s hedge funds, then stealing money from Retrophin, the biotech Shkreli founded before Turing, to pay off the people he allegedly defrauded.
Shkreli left Retrophin in September 2014, and the company filed a lawsuit against him this year. Many of the allegations in Retrophin’s lawsuit line up with the criminal charges brought against Shkreli yesterday after law enforcement officials arrested Shkreli at his New York City apartment.
When Shkreli left Retrophin last year, the chairman was quoted as saying, “The Retrophin Board is grateful to Martin for his creativity, energy, and vision…(H)e built a world-class management team and created a thriving company that has improved the lives of patients with rare diseases.” But the company soon initiated an investigation into his activities that led to a lawsuit and helped fuel the criminal case, as well. Retrophin has since issued a statement that read: “A new chapter for Retrophin began the day the company replaced Martin Shkreli more than a year ago — and that decision has been vindicated by today’s indictment.”
UPDATE: Martin Shkreli has also been fired as chief executive officer of KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc. KaloBios’ shares plummeted 53 percent after Shkreli’s arrest; trading was halted and bankruptcy has been filed. The University of California at Davis and the Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida have suspended a planned drug trial sponsored by KaloBios.