An executive of Novartis International AG, the Basel-based Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company, had sold company shares worth of $946,000 (925,400 Swiss Franc) about three weeks before US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) stated that some of earlier testing data of its gene therapy Zolgensma were being manipulated, however, identity of that Novartis executive had not yet been disclosed, a report of Swiss Newspaper SonntagsZeitung published on Sunday, the 18th of July 2019, had unveiled citing inside sources familiar with the subject-matter.
Besides, followed by the reveal of the report, the Basel-based pharmaceutical, Novartis had also made an announcement saying that an executive member of its management board sold its Swiss stock exchange-listed shares on July 19th three weeks before the company informed FDA regarding the data manipulation in its gene therapy drug, Zolgensma.
In point of fact, FDA said on August 6th, more than a month after Novartis’s Zolgensma was approved, that some of the early test data might have been manipulated. Nonetheless, defending the Novartis executive who sold shares before FDA announcement of data manipulation, a Novartis spokesman said on Friday (August 18th), “As is usual in such cases, the transaction was thoroughly checked beforehand and then approved accordingly.
The person in question was not in possession of relevant material information. ” However, questions were raised as the company had been well-aware of the complications at least two months prior to the drug’s US approval, sources said who wished to remain unidentified. Shares of Novartis fell more than 3 percent after FDA announcement.