January 5, 2017

Alexion reports mixed results of internal drug sales probe

New Haven-based Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s internal investigation into alleged improper sales of its drug Solaris has revealed no wrongdoing, the company has announced.

"All Soliris orders were valid and placed by customers for patients in order to fulfill an actual need, and there were no instances where Soliris was sold to build stock of unwanted product," Alexion told the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Despite that finding, Alexion identified "material weaknesses" in internal controls over financial reporting that existed as early as Dec. 31, 2015 because senior managers failed to set "an appropriate tone at the top."

"The investigation found that certain revenue pulled in from the first quarter of 2016 into the fourth quarter of 2015 was realized by employee actions that involved inappropriate business conduct, including violations of company policies and procedures," Alexion reported.

The company has taken "remedial actions" to maintain internal controls and set a more professional tone, said David Brennan, interim CEO of Alexion. These include expanded training programs and implementing new processes related to financial reporting, controls and compliance, which the company expects to deploy effectively this year, Brennan said.

The company first reported its internal probe in November, and since then has been the subject of related class action lawsuits. Brennan has replaced former CEO David Hallal, who resigned for personal reasons in mid-December.

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