Statement on Jury Trial of Ex-CFO of AVEO Pharmaceuticals
Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director, SEC Division of Enforcement
Steven Peikin, Co-Director, SEC Division of Enforcement
Nov. 20, 2018
"Today, a federal court jury found that AVEO’s former CFO David Johnston misled investors about the prospects for FDA approval of AVEO’s flagship developmental drug, Tivozanib. The jury’s verdict makes clear that a company and its officers are required to be honest in their public communications, including about matters as critical as communications with regulators about approval of a key product."
The SEC charged Johnston, AVEO, and the company’s former CEO Tuan Ha-Ngoc and chief medical officer William Slichenmyer on Mar. 29, 2016. AVEO agreed to pay a $4 million penalty to settle the SEC’s charges without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint. The SEC obtained final judgments against Ha-Ngoc and Slichenmyer on Mar. 5, 2018. The final judgments ordered Ha-Ngoc and Slichenmyer to pay civil penalties of $80,000 and $50,000, respectively, Slichenmyer to pay disgorgement of $2,835, enjoined Ha-Ngoc from violating the antifraud provisions of Sections 17(a)(2) and (3) of the Securities Act of 1933 and the certification provisions Rule 13a-14 under the Securities Act of 1934, and enjoined Slichenmyer from violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC’s litigation is being handled by Susan Cooke Anderson, Eric Forni, and Chip Harper.