Immunex Corp. announced Wednesday the settlement of aclass-action lawsuit brought by shareholders of the Seattlecompany.
The settlement totals $14 million, $10 million of which iscovered by company insurance. Immunex recorded a $4.4million charge against previously released 1993 earnings tocover the remainder and related expenses. The charge resultedin a net loss for the seven-month period that ended Dec. 31 of$366.1 million, or $9.58 per share, 11 cents per share morethan previously reported.
Valoree Dowell, Immunex's vice president of corporatecommunications, told BioWorld that the company does notknow how many people are affected by the settlement. But shesaid anyone who bought and held stock between Oct. 24, 1991,and April 1, 1992, is eligible to share in the settlement.
The class-action resulted from consolidation of lawsuits filedagainst Immunex and some of its executive officers in April1992 in District Court in Washington. The actions concernLeukine, Immunex's white blood cell stimulant used to speedrecovery of cancer patients undergoing autologous bonemarrow transplantation. It was approved in March 1991.
The plaintiffs claimed that Immunex made false statements oromissions relating to expected revenues from Leukine, thepotential market for Leukine, the ability of Leukine to competewith comparable products and the difficulty experienced byImmunex in its business relationship with Hoechst-RousselPharmaceuticals Inc., in violation of Section 10(b) of theExchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, theWashington Securities Act and common law. The suit wasscheduled for trial in May.
Under terms of the settlement, Immunex did not admit anyviolations of federal or state law, and the court will not makedeterminations concerning the merits of the allegations. Thesettlement is subject to court approval, which is not expectedfor several months.
Immunex's stock closed at $16 a share on Wednesday, up 25cents.
-- Jim Shrine
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