The Complaint brings forth claims for violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Israel Securities Law against OPKO Health, Inc. (“OPKO” or the “Company”), and its senior executive, CEO-Chairman, who was also the Company’s largest shareholder. The Complaint alleges that Defendants made false and misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects on behalf of all persons or entities that purchased or otherwise acquired OPKO common stock during the Class Period.
OPKO is a diversified healthcare company that, among other things, has multiple investments in developing companies. In addition to developing its own products, OPKO acquires or takes significant stakes in smaller healthcare companies that are purportedly focused on developing new products. Throughout the Class Period, Defendants touted OPKO’s “strategic investments” in “early-stage companies” that would purportedly generate growth and therefore value for OPKO shareholders. They claimed that their investments were carefully handpicked by the Defendant-CEO, based on his identification of valuable proprietary technology.
Specifically, the Complaint alleges that Defendants along with several of their associates were involved in multiple illicit “pump-and-dump” schemes which used orchestrated trading and false promotional pieces to artificially “pump” up the share price of companies in which they had invested, and then “dumped” their shares by selling them to unsuspecting investors, leaving them holding stock that was, in truth, virtually worthless. In September 2018, after a significant investigation, the SEC charged Defendants with numerous violations of the federal securities laws for this misconduct. When their deep involvement in these pump-and-dump schemes was revealed, the price of Opko common stock collapsed by more than 30%, causing significant harm to Opko shareholders.
On April 20, 2019, the Court appointed The Amitim Funds as Lead Plaintiff and Saxena White, P.A. as Liaison Counsel.
On May 3, 2019, Lead Plaintiff filed and served its Consolidated Class Action Complaint. On February 21, 2020, Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss was fully briefed. Then on December 17, 2019, the Parties attended an all-day mediation. After months of additional discussion and negotiations, on May 28, 2020, the Parties accepted the mediator’s recommendation that the Action be settled for $16.5 million. On May 29, 2020, upon the Parties’ telephonic Notice of Settlement, the Court directed the Clerk to deny all pending motions as moot. On June 29, 2020, Lead Plaintiff filed an Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement, with the Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement by the Parties attached to the motion. Lead Plaintiff also filed a Notice of Dismissal upon the entry by the Court of a judgement approving the proposed Settlement.
On September 4, 2020, the Court preliminarily approved the settlement, and on April 28, 2021 entered a final order finding it to be fair, adequate and reasonable.