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Natera, Inc.

Case Details

Class Period: February 26, 2020 - April 19, 2022
Date Filed: April 27, 2022
Case Number: 1:22cv00398
Jurisdiction: Texas Western District Court
icon-casetype Case Type: Securities Case
Days Left to
Seek Plaintiff:
42

Case Summary

Natera, a Delaware corporation with principal executive offices in Austin, Texas, offers genetic testing in the areas of women’s health, oncology, and organ health. Among other things, the Company produces and markets a non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT), called “Panorama,” and a screening test for kidney transplant failure, called “Prospera.” Throughout the Class Period, Defendants repeatedly assured investors that Panorama was reliable, that Prospera was more accurate than competing tests, and that Natera’s growth was driven by its superior technology and customer experience. Investors, however, began to learn the truth on January 1, 2022, when The New York Times published a detailed report calling into question the accuracy of certain prenatal tests manufactured by Natera and other diagnostic testing companies. Among other things, The New York Times reported that Natera’s positive results for several genetic disorders were incorrect more than 80 percent of the time. On this news, the price of Natera common stock fell $5.35 per share, or approximately 6% over two trading days, from a close of $93.39 per share on December 31, 2021, to close at $88.04 per share on January 4, 2022. Less than two weeks later, on January 14, 2022, the Campaign for Accountability nonprofit watchdog group filed a complaint with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requesting an investigation as to whether Natera repeatedly claimed in marketing materials and earnings calls that its tests are much more reliable than it appears they really are. On this news, the price of Natera common stock fell $6.29 per share, or more than 9%, from a close of $67.37 per share on January 14, 2022, to close at $61.08 per share on January 18, 2022. Then, on March 9, 2022, Hindenburg Research issued an investigative report alleging, among other things, that “Natera’s revenue growth has been fueled by deceptive sales and billing practices aimed at doctors, insurance companies, and expectant mothers.” On this news, the price of Natera common stock fell as much as $28.65 per share, or more than 52%, from a close of $54.75 per share on March 8, 2022, to an intra-day low of $26.10 per share on March 9, 2022. Several days later, on March 14, 2022, a jury found that Natera had intentionally and willfully misled the public by utilizing false advertisements to market Prospera in violation of federal and state laws. Among other things, the jury found that Natera’s marketing falsely claimed that Prospera was more accurate than the competing kidney transplant testing offered by CareDx, Inc. Ultimately, the jury awarded CareDx, Inc. $44.9 million in monetary damages. On this news, Natera common stock fell as much as $8.81 per share, or approximately 22.5%, from an intra-day high of $39.13 per share on March 14, 2022, to close at $30.32 per share on March 15, 2022. Finally, on April 19, 2022, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety communication “to educate patients and health care providers and to help reduce the inappropriate use of [NIPTs].” The FDA cautioned that statements about NIPTs’ reliability and accuracy “may not be supported with sound scientific evidence” and revealed the existence of “cases where a screening test reported a genetic abnormality and a confirmatory diagnostic test later found that the fetus was healthy.” The FDA suggested that patients discuss benefits and risks with a healthcare provider before deciding to undergo NIPT or making any pregnancy-related decisions on the basis of NIPT results. In addition, the FDA advised health care providers that they should not rely on NIPT results alone to diagnose chromosomal abnormalities or disorders. Following this news, the price of Natera common stock fell as much as $1.53 per share, or approximately 3.9%, from an intra-day high of $39.63 per share on April 19, 2022, to close at $38.10 per share on April 20, 2022. The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, the Defendants misrepresented and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Panorama was not reliable and resulted in high rates of false positives; (2) Prospera did not have superior precision compared to competing tests; (3) as a result of Defendants’ false and misleading claims about Natera’s technology, the company was exposed to substantial legal and regulatory risks; (4) Natera relied upon deceptive sales and billing practices to drive its revenue growth; and (5) as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ statements about the company’s business, operations, and prospects lacked a reasonable basis.

Documents
Complaint