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SEC v. AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al. Case No. 16-cv-10607 (D. Mass)

Aug. 22, 2022

On September 1, 2016 the Commission amended its complaint filed on March 29, 2016 (the “Complaint”). In the Complaint, the Commission alleged that AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“AVEO”) and its former CEO, Tuan Ha-Ngoc, former CFO, David Johnston, and former Chief

Medical Officer, William Slichenmyer (collectively, the “Defendants”) misled investors about the company's communications with the Food and Drug Administration concerning the approval status of AVEO's flagship drug candidate, tivozanib. The Commission alleged that the Defendants misled the public by intentionally withholding their knowledge that, due to concerns about patient death rates in an earlier tivozanib clinical trial, the FDA staff had recommended an additional clinical trial, which would likely have entailed millions of dollars in additional expenses and a multi-year delay in tivozanib's FDA approval process. See the Complaint.

On December 8, 2017, the Court entered a final consent judgment against Ha-Ngoc, ordering him to pay a civil penalty of $80,000 and enjoining him from future violations of Section 17(a)(2) and (3) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Rule 13a-14 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. See Ha-Ngoc’s Final Judgment. On February 12, 2018, the Court entered a final consent judgment against Slichenmyer, ordering him to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest of $2,835.54 and enjoining him from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. See Slichenmyer’s Judgment. After a contested hearing, in an order entered March 1, 2018, the Court also ordered Slichenmyer to pay a civil penalty of $50,000. See the Court’s Order. All monies were ordered to be sent to the U.S. Treasury.

AVEO previously paid a $4 million penalty to settle the Commission's charges without admitting

or denying the allegations in its Complaint. The Commission was ordered to hold the monies paid, along with interest and earnings thereon, pending further court order. See AVEO’s Final Judgment.

The litigation against Johnston is ongoing.

For more information, please contact the Commission:

Office of Distribution

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