Things have gone from bad to worse for former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli.
Days after his arrest on charges of securities fraud and his subsequent resignation as the head of Turing, California-based KaloBios Pharmaceuticals announced Monday it had fired Shkreli as its CEO and that he has resigned from the board.
KaloBios said Shkreli's termination was effective Dec. 17. The company also announced the resignation of director Tony Chase, who joined the board when Shkreli arrived.
Shkreli was appointed CEO of KaloBios in November after leading an investor group to acquire 70% of the company's outstanding shares. Just a few days before the transaction, KaloBios announced it was set to end its operations after quarters of reported losses and a reduction of more than half of its workforce.
Soon after Shrkeli took over at KaloBios, word came out that the company had acquired the rights to sell the generic drug benznidazole, a medicine used to treat Chagas disease, and planned to raise its price from about $100 for a course of treatment to as much as $100,000.
The company also announced it would seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration to sell the drug in the U.S. The bulk of Chagas cases occur in South and Central America. An estimated 300,000 are living with the disease in the U.S., most of them undiagnosed and in low-income communities.
KaloBios said it planned to ask the FDA for a priority review voucher, which allows drugmakers to fast track review of their products by several months or can be sold to another drugmaker for millions.
The company has yet to say whether it plans to move forward with either its price increase on benznidazole or its effort to gain a review voucher.
As founder and CEO of Turing, Shkreli became known around the world in September when the company bought the rights to sell the generic drug pyrimethamine, which has been around since the 1960s and is the only known treatment for the parasitic infection toxoplasmosis. Shkreli planned to raise its price from $13.50 to $750 a pill under the brand name Daraprim.