According to a news story published June 5, 2008, the case accusing AstraZeneca Plc of misleading its investors about the safety and effectiveness of Exanta, its blood thinner that failed to win the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, was dismissed on June 5, 2008. Judge Thomas P. Griesa said Tuesday that his court does not have jurisdiction over foreigners who bought AstraZeneca stock on foreign exchanges and that the plaintiffs failed to adequately allege scienter. The clerk's judgment officially closing the case was entered on June 5, 2008.
On May 2, 2006, the Lead Plaintiff State Universities Retirement System of Illinois filed an Amended Complaint against the defendants. On July 17, 2006, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint. The motion is currently pending before the Court.
According to a press release dated March 6, 2006, the first complaint in these actions was filed on January 27, 2005 by Raymond Tyler in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. On the same day, Tyler's counsel, Lerach Coughlin, caused a notice to be published in the news wire service Business Wire, advising the purported plaintiff class of the pendency and particulars of the action, and that any class member wishing to serve as lead plaintiff must make a motion within sixty days. The Jaroslawicz and Elliot actions were subsequently filed in this court on March 8, 2005 and March 18, 2005 respectively. The Foster Group and the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois are both members of the classes described in the Jaroslawicz and Elliot actions. On March 28, 2005 they filed motions to consolidate the Jaroslawicz and Elliot actions. Each sought appointment as lead plaintiff with lead counsel. On June 3, 2005, the Tyler action was transferred to this court from the District of Massachusetts. It is obvious that the two actions referred to above should be consolidated. The same applies to the Tyler action. Thus, the court directs the consolidation of all three actions under the caption of In re AstraZenica Securities Litigation. All relevant documents and submissions shall be maintained as one file under docket number 05-CV-2688. … The court finds no need to complicate the proceedings with co-lead plaintiffs. Courts in this circuit have frequently declined to appoint co-lead plaintiffs in the absence of some actual infirmity with the appointed lead plaintiff. Weinberg v. Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., 216 F.R.D. 248, 254 (S.D.N.Y. 2003); In re Donnkenny, Inc., Sec. Litig., 171 F.R.D. 156, 157 (S.D.N.Y. 1997). No such infirmity has been suggested here. The Foster Group's motion to be appointed as co-lead plaintiff is therefore denied.
The class action lawsuit has been commenced on behalf of purchasers of AstraZeneca PLC publicly-traded securities, including investors who purchased or acquired AstraZeneca securities on foreign markets and/or who purchased AstraZeneca's American Depositary Receipts. The complaint charges AstraZeneca and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. AstraZeneca is a pharmaceutical research company specializing in research and development of drugs to treat cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neuroscience, oncology, respiratory and inflammation and infection disorders.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants issued numerous materially false and misleading statements concerning the results of the clinical trials of the Company's investigational oral anticoagulant Exanta, and the status and likelihood of the approval of the New Drug Application for Exanta. These statements caused the Company's stock/ADR prices to rise until September 9, 2004, when staffers at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration ("FDA") posted briefing documents on the FDA's website which raised previously unheard-of problems with Exanta. Then, on October 11, 2004 the Company issued a press release stating, in relevant part, that they received an Action Letter from the FDA for Exanta. The release stated that "the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not grant approval for the investigational oral anticoagulant EXANTA(R) (ximelagatran)." On news of the conclusion reached in the FDA's action letter, the Company's stock price declined to $38 per share, erasing millions of dollars in market capitalization from the Class Period high of $51.20 per share reached on March 9, 2004 on the NYSE, GBP 2,894 per share reached on October 28, 2003 on the London Stock Exchange, and SEK 380.50 per share reached on October 29, 2003 on the Stockholm exchange.
Similar class actions have been filed in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware and the District for the Southern District of New York against defendants AstraZeneca and certain of its officers and directors.