If the SEC investigates the pulling of Tysabri, as well as review the stock sales, it will be interesting to note how their chief attorney voted in a closed board meeting on whether to suspend sales or not. Actually, if he voted to suspend distribution of T, it could help his own legal defense on insider trading. Everyone at BIIB knew that the stock would plummet once the announcement was made. If he had, in effect, a pre-arranged sale, then he knew that his trades would be under the microscope. Conversely, if he lobbied to keep the drug on the market, he would have had his own agenda. The SEC investigation of BIIB, informal at this stage, centers around the actual event (pulling T from the market), not the review of trading which came up through BIIB's own internal audit. Moreover, the other Executive who sold that day has not resigned.
I cannot believe that there was time to call a Board meeting over the decision on Tysabri. This matter should have been decisioned by the executive committee with input from the heads of research and general counsel.
Fair enough. However, you are stating that the general counsel was involved in the decision to pull Tysabri. That's my point. He may have had an instrumental role in the decision to suspend sales. He may have felt that it would have been inappropriate to cancel a pre-arranged sale on February 18 while they were in discussions with the FDA over the reported JVC cases. Some time did elapse between the time of his sale and the official press release. Had he cancelled his sale, that would have raised flags from within BIIB. There probably was a strict gag order not to divulge anything about the 2 cases, until the official press release came out. All I'm saying is that there may be more to the story than meets the eye. The press is just jumping on this guy as if he's Ken Lay, Sam Waksal or Dennis W. It's not as simple as that.
I think the reason he was dismissed was because he will be a material witness in the upcoming lawsuits. Can't have the legal counsel also be a material witness. Better to have somebody totally unrelated to the case handle the legal matters for the company from now on.