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Just days before Pfizer (PFE) announced plans to acquire Medivation six years ago, the former head of business development at Medivation bought stock in yet another company that Wall Street bankers deemed equally desirable. Now, he has been charged with insider trading by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In a complaint filed in federal court, the agency alleged Matthew Panuwat used confidential information he acquired at Medivation to purchase stock options in Incyte (INCY) “within minutes” of learning about the pending deal, because he anticipated that it would likely lead to an increase in Incyte’s stock price. After the deal was announced, Incyte stock rose about 8% and he earned $107,066 in “illicit profits.”


At the time, Medivation and Incyte were both mid-sized drug makers focused on the oncology market, which Pfizer was targeting in hopes of playing catch-up and quickly boosting revenues. Medivation sold the Xtandi advanced prostate cancer treatment in U.S., while Incyte marketed a best-selling chemotherapy and was developing several other medications.

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