DOJ, SEC charge Viatris exec with insider trading; who claims to be on leave

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The US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday announced insider trading charges against Ramkumar Rayapureddy, chief information officer of generic drug maker Viatris (NASDAQ:VTRS).

SEC and the DOJ alleged that from 2017 to 2019 — when VTRS was known as Mylan — Rayapureddy disclosed non-public information about the company to his former colleague Dayakar Mallu.

The information included FDA drug approvals, financial results and Mylan’s impending merger with Pfizer’s ( PFE ) unit Upjohn that created Viatris ( VTRS ) in November 2020.

“We take today’s government allegations against Ramkumar Rayapureddy very seriously and will continue to review the matter in the same manner,” a Viatris (VTRS) spokesperson told Seeking Alpha in an email.

“Ramkumar Rayapureddy is on leave from the company,” the statement added.

The SEC in September last year charged Dayakar Mallu with insider trading over his association with Rayapureddy. Reuters had reported that Mallu had pleaded guilty.

“Rayapureddy is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and three counts of securities fraud,” the DOJ said in its statement Thursday, adding that federal law enforcement is also looking into the case.

“The SEC’s complaint charges Rayapureddy with violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder,” the US Securities and Exchange Commission said in its statement.

“We have and will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities and we expect to have no further comment on this matter,” a VTRS spokesperson said.

Earlier in the day, Viatris (VTRS) won a patent-related court ruling on AstraZeneca’s asthma treatment Symbicort.

VTRS shares were closed earlier +4.7% at $11.34.

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