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News / Business / Clark County Business

Vancouver biotechnology company CytoDyn faces another lawsuit

CEO and board chair, among others, are named in 'breach of fiduciary duties' case

By Sarah Wolf, Columbian staff writer
Published: February 2, 2024, 6:01am

Vancouver biotechnology company CytoDyn is facing another lawsuit, this one filed Monday in the Delaware Court of Chancery.

The complaint was submitted to the court under seal but is listed as a “breach of fiduciary duties” case, according to court records.

CytoDyn didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Former CEO Nader Pourhassan and the CytoDyn board chair Tanya Durkee Urbach were both named in the lawsuit, among others.

A Maryland federal grand jury indicted Pourhassan in 2022 for allegedly defrauding investors. The indictment alleged Pourhassan and the head of the company’s regulatory agent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lied to investors about the timeline and status of CytoDyn’s regulatory submissions to the FDA. It claimed the men aimed to artificially inflate and maintain the price of the company’s stock and attract new investors.

Pourhassan was CytoDyn’s president and chief executive for about 10 years before being removed by the company’s board of directors in January 2022.

Before Pourhassan’s ousting, CytoDyn faced lawsuits and an attempted board takeover by shareholder activists, which failed. The company was subpoenaed by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the company’s public statements around its drug leronlimab as a treatment for COVID-19.

The company has been working on leronlimab, a therapeutic antibody with potential to treat HIV, among other infectious diseases, cancer and autoimmune conditions.

The company announced Thursday it submitted a revised HIV clinical trial protocol to the FDA.

“The company believes this submission will lead to the removal of the clinical hold currently in effect,” according to a statement from CytoDyn.