Pharmaceutical CEO who hiked the price of life-saving HIV drug arrested

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NEW YORK — Pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli, widely pilloried for jacking up the price of a drug used to treat AIDS patients, has been arrested on federal securities fraud charges, according to published reports.

The charges reportedly do not relate to Turing Pharmaceuticals, the company that raised the price of the drug Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent. Instead, they center on his time as CEO of Retrophin, another biotech company that ousted him last year.

Retrophin has since sued him in federal court, seeking $65 million from him, accusing him of misusing the company’s cash and stock. He has denied those charges.

Bloomberg and Reuters reported that Shkreli was arrested Thursday at his home in New York. Reuters said it had “witnessed” the arrest.

An attorney who represented Shkreli in a previous civil lawsuit did not return calls seeking comment, nor did federal prosecutors. A call to Shkreli’s office line went unanswered.

Turing, which Shkreli started after leaving Retrophin, is privately held.

But Shkreli recently bought a majority of the shares and became CEO of another small publicly-traded drug company, KaloBios, which develops cancer drugs.

Shkreli’s takeover of the firm sent shares soaring 400 percent on the first day after the news, and shares had since more than doubled in value. But they plunged 50 percent in premarket trading Thursday after reports of his arrest.

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