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Assertio Holdings, Inc.

Case Details

Class Period: March 9, 2023 - November 8, 2023
Date Filed: January 05, 2024
Case Number: 1:24-cv-00169
Jurisdiction: Northern District of Illinois
icon-casetype Case Type: Securities Case

Case Summary

Assertio is a commercial pharmaceutical company that purportedly offers differentiated products to patients utilizing a non-personal promotional model. One of the Company’s primary pharmaceutical products is Indocin, an oral and suppository solution for the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. However, because there are no patents covering the Indocin products, Assertio can potentially face competition at any time from the introduction of generic versions of these products made by competitors.

In July 2023, Assertio acquired Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Spectrum”), a biopharmaceutical company focused on novel and targeted oncology, along with Spectrum’s injection asset Rolvedon (the “Spectrum Acquisition”). In a press release announcing the closing of the acquisition, Assertio’s Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) Defendant Dan Peisert (“Peisert”) was quoted as stating, in relevant part, “[w]e look forward to building on the successful early results in the [Rolvedon] Injection launch for the remainder of 2023, driving the business toward [its] goal of accretive contribution to our Adjusted EPS and operating cash flow in 2024.”

Throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) the Company’s reliance on Indocin products to boost its net income was unsustainable given the risk of generic competition; (ii) the Spectrum Acquisition was less valuable than Assertio had represented to investors; (iii) accordingly, Assertio had overstated the positive impact the sale of Indocin products and the Spectrum Acquisition were likely to have on the Company’s profitability; and (iv) as a result, Defendants’ public statements were materially false and/or misleading at all relevant times.

On August 3, 2023, Zydus Lifesciences Limited (“Zydus”), a generic pharmaceutical company, received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to manufacture and market 50mg indomethacin suppositories, the generic version of the Company’s Indocin Suppositories. Specifically, the FDA granted Zydus 180-day Competitive Generic Therapies exclusivity to market the product. Following the FDA’s decision, Assertio withdrew its 2023 financial outlook previously issued in May 2023.

On this news, Assertio’s stock price fell $2.44 per share, or 45.6%, to close at $2.91 per share on August 4, 2023

Then, on November 8, 2023, Assertio issued a press release announcing its financial results for its third quarter (“Q3”) of 2023. Among other results, Assertio reported Q3 non-GAAP earnings-per-share of $0.01, missing consensus estimates by $0.09, and revenue of $35.63 million, missing consensus estimates by $14.8 million. Defendant Peisert called the Company’s Q3 2023 results “disappointing,” noting that “the loss of Indocin exclusivity and Rolvedon results below expectations [drove] significant charges to our net income” and that the Company was “learning” that “certain aspects” of its July 31, 2023 acquisition of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. “may not be everything we initially expected.”

On this news, Assertio’s stock price fell $0.92 per share, or 43.19%, to close at $1.21 per share on November 9, 2023.

On, January 3, 2024, Assertio issued a press release announcing that Defendant Peisert was stepping down from his role as the Company’s CEO.

On this news, Assertio’s stock price fell $0.12 per share, or 10.96%, to close at $1.01 per share on January 4, 2024.

The Complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, Defendants’ wrongful acts and omissions, and the precipitous decline in the market value of the Company’s securities, Plaintiff and other Class members have suffered significant losses and damages.

Documents
Complaint