Amgen subpoenas journalist in fight against shareholder suit
- The WSJ's Ed Silverman reports that Amgen has subpoenaed a journalist to support its fight against shareholders in a lawsuit, which was filed in 2007, alleging that Amgen mislead regulators and investors about the safety and effectiveness of Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa).
- The journalist, Paul Goldberg, who writes for The Cancer Letter, is refusing to cooperate.
- At issue is a clinical trial which was temporarily halted in October 2006. In the trial, there were data suggesting that Aranesp, which is used to treat low red-blood cell count in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, was associated with greater tumor growth and cardiovascular (CVD) risk in some patients. Goldberg reported on this data in February 2007, and many shareholders say that this was the first they heard of the results.
Amgen could potentially be in hot water over accusations that the company failed to fully disclose the results of the study in a timely manner to both investors and the medical community. However, the biotech claims that the information was available on a website run by researchers.
Because Paul Goldberg was one of the reporters who revealed the data in early 2007, Amgen is seeking disclosure of his documents and correpsondence with the goal of proving that the data was publicly available.
Citing First Amendment rights, Goldberg is refusing to disclose his documents and correspondence, and has no interest in supporting the legal position of Amgen in this case.