Tags: Health Topics | Healthcare Reform | Chris Collins | biotechnology | stock | loss

Rep. Chris Collins Loses $16.7 Million on Tanking Biotech Stock

Image: Rep. Chris Collins Loses $16.7 Million on Tanking Biotech Stock
Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y. (AP Photo)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Jun 2017 06:09 PM

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., took a $16.7 million bath Tuesday when biotechnology stock in which he was heavily invested plummeted, Bloomberg News reported.

Shares of Australia's Innate Immunotherapeutics fell more than 90 percent in Sydney after a multiple sclerosis drug being tested by the pharmaceutical company showed no signs of working, Bloomberg reported.

Collins, one of President Donald Trump's early supporters in Congress, came under fire for investing in the company while sitting on a House committee that oversees healthcare policy.

Some of Collins' colleagues also got into the company, buying shares in early 2017, near the stock's peak. Republican Representatives Mike Conaway of Texas, Doug Lamborn of Colorado, Billy Long or Missouri and Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma all bought in January, Bloomberg reported.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price told Congress he also invested after Collins told him about it, but sold his shares in February.

In a statement Tuesday, Collins called the failed clinical trial and subsequent drop in the stock price "disappointing," but he said he and other investors knew they were taking a risk, The Hill reported.

"I am hopeful that Innate's work will continue to help the individuals and families who suffer from this dreadful disease where, right now, there is no hope," he said. "After 14 years of hard work, substantial investment, and dramatic progress, it is obvious that we have more to do."

According to Bloomberg News, it is not uncommon for lawmakers who sit on committees that handle health issues to hold investments in drug or health services companies – reporting almost a quarter of them do.

But as House ethics investigators look into whether Collins violated insider trading laws by pitching the stock to colleagues, on Tuesday, New York Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter also called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to probe the lawmaker, The Hill reported.

"This raises very serious questions as to when Congressman Collins knew about the drug's performance and who is responsible for the suspicious trading before the drug's failure was publicly known," Slaughter said in a statement, The Hill reported. "Did Congressman Collins come here to make money for himself or to represent his constituents? . . ."

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Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., took a $16.7 million bath Tuesday when biotechnology stock in which he was heavily invested plummeted, Bloomberg News reported.
Chris Collins, biotechnology, stock, loss
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2017-09-27
Tuesday, 27 Jun 2017 06:09 PM
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