Health Care Group Teleconference: Insider Trading and Clinical Research: Improper Uses of Clinical Trial Data

Practices: Health Care

Dina Michels and Mark Barnes, partners in the Health Care Group at Ropes & Gray, and David Fine, co-head of the Ropes & Gray Federal Securities & Public Company Practice Group, will discuss the application of the Federal insider trading laws to clinical researchers’ discussions with analysts and investors.

Developments in clinical research of new drugs has always had the potential to trigger significant swings in the fortunes and related stock price of public life science and pharmaceutical companies, especially biotechnology drug development companies.  Over the past few years analysts and investors have become more sophisticated in their approach to uncovering information that might provide a competitive edge in their investment decisions or advice.  In addition, companies have emerged to match physicians and clinical researchers with analyst and investors.  While these discussions can often provide investors with a fair and competitive investing edge, they also raise difficult issues under the Federal insider trading laws, creating potential criminal and civil liability for both the physician/clinical researcher and the investor.  With both Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission focusing on this issue, it is more important than ever for research sponsors, physicians, clinical researchers, medical centers, medical schools, analysts and investors to understand how the insider trading laws apply to these conversations.  Dina, Mark and David will discuss:

  • Recent focus on this issue in the press;
  • Exactly what the insider trading laws prohibit and how these rules apply in this context; and
  • What research sponsors, researchers, medical centers, medical schools, analysts and investors should be doing to make sure that discussions of clinical trial events and results do not expose them to undue risk.
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