The former head of drug development at Rockwell Medical Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: RMTI) says the company and its chief executive knowingly issued false and misleading press releases and violated other securities laws.
Dr. Richard C. Yocum, who was fired from Rockwell Medical in September, alleged in a wrongful termination suit that he was ousted because he repeatedly complained to its chairman and CEO, Robert L. Chioini, about violations of Securities Exchange Commission and Food and Drug Administration rules.
Yocum said in his suit that press releases the company put out in 2010 and 2011 made it appear that the clinical trials for a new product called Soluble Ferric Pyrophosphate (SFP) were going better than they actually were.
Yocum was Rockwell Medical’s vice president of drug development and medical affairs, and had primary responsibility for the SFP development program.
He said in his suit that Chioini not only ignored his concerns about the trials but caused Rockwell Medical to issue press releases that included statements directly contradicting what Yocum had told him.
Yocum also said that, based on the nature of questions he received from analysts or investors, it appeared that Rockwell Medical engaged in selective disclosure regarding details of those trials.
Because Yocum was fired from his job, which had a base salary of $298,000 a year, he could be viewed as having a grudge against Rockwell Medical. But his allegations are not the only red flags at the company.
Yocum’s successor, Dr. Annamaria Kausz, recently left Rockwell Medical after just seven months, adding to the turnover in its clinical-development program. The company provided no explanation for that departure in the press release it issued April 19 to announce the hiring of her replacement. In fact, it didn’t even mention her or say that she had resigned.
Sharesleuth also noted that Rockwell Medical took the unusual step last November of extending the life of 400,000 warrants it had issued in the fall of 2008 to a consultant who was later found to have participated in a massive fraud scheme at another public company.
That consultant, Michael J. Xirinachs, was one of Rockwell Medical’s co-founders.
The federal judge hearing the SEC’s civil case against Xirinachs and his company, Emerald Asset Advisors LLC, last week ordered them to pay as much as $10 million in disgorgement, interest and fines.
The 400,000 unexercised warrants gained more than $900,000 in value after Rockwell Medical pushed back the expiration date by six months, to May 4.
Rockwell Medical’s decision to grant Xirinachs and Emerald Asset Advisors the extension – for no additional consideration – sets up the possibility that they could use the additional profits to help offset the SEC judgment.
Rockwell Medical did not respond to a list of questions submitted to its investor-relations representative. In court filings, the company has denied Yocum’s allegations and has asked the judge to dismiss the case.
Rockwell Medical currently is conducting Phase III clinical trials of SFP, which is used to deliver water-soluble iron into the bloodstream during dialysis treatment. The iron helps combat anemia, a common side effect in patients with end-stage renal disease.
Rockwell Medical is hoping the trials prove that SFP is not only safe for patients, but effective in treating their underlying conditions. The company says the product is aimed at a market worth $600 million a year in the United States and $1 billion a year globally.
Rockwell Medical is also awaiting FDA approval to begin manufacturing and marketing a generic version of a Vitamin D product called calcitriol, which is given as an injection to patients with renal disease.
Its investor relations agency added in a report this week that safety issues with a competitor’s dialysis product could cause many clinics to switch suppliers, which would mean added revenue for Rockwell Medical.
Yocum alleged in his suit that Rockwel Medical:
–falsely claimed that the results of its earlier Phase IIb studies of SFP were positive, despite the fact that they failed to demonstrate that the treatment was effective.
– falsely claimed that the Phase IIb trials produced clear dosing data.
– falsely claimed that the company had an agreement with the FDA on the design of its Phase III clinical trials.
– proceeded with those trials despite unresolved differences with the FDA, without correcting its public statements and informing investors of those differences.
– announced an unrealistic date for bringing SFP to market, disregarding Yocum’s much longer timetable.
– failed to modify its Phase III trials to account for changes in FDA product labeling for erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, which are used to treat anemia and would likely be taken by all of the participants in the trials.
The FDA adopted more conservative dosing guidelines for those drugs last June, citing increased risks of cardiovascular events, including stroke, thrombosis and death.
Yocum said in his suit that he repeatedly pushed for Rockwell Medical to modify its trial design in response to the FDA’s new guidelines, telling Chioini it was a patient-safety issue.
Yocum said Chioini rejected the idea, out of concern that the changes would make it harder to recruit patients for the trials and reduce the odds of a successful outcome. Then, he said, Chioini fired him.
Chioini said in an investor presentation this month that the trials were going well and that none of the participants had experienced any serious side effects. He added that the company was hopeful the trials would show that patients treated with SFP would need smaller amounts of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, which would translate to big savings for dialysis clinics and could also mean bigger profit margins for Rockwell Medical.
NO MENTION OF SUIT
Rockwell Medical did not disclose Yocum’s suit — or the allegations it raised — in the litigation section of the annual report it filed with the SEC in March, or in the quarterly filing it submitted last month.
The case was filed in California state court in January, then was transferred to federal court.
Yocum is seeking an unspecified amount in actual and punitive damages, for the harm to his reputation and employment prospects. He also is requesting back pay, bonuses and stock awards he says Rockwell Medical owes him. Based on the bonuses and stock awards that other executives received in 2010 and 2011, that compensation alone could total more than $1 million.
ROCKWELL’S FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE
Rockwell Medical has characterized SFP as its biggest growth opportunity
The company had $49 million in revenue for 2011, down from $59.6 million in 2010. It had a net loss of $21.4 million, compared with a net loss of $2.68 million a year earlier. The wider loss was mainly the result of a drop in sales and sharply higher spending on research and product development.
Rockwell Medical reported $12 million in revenue for the first quarter of this year, down from $13.3 million in the same period in 2011. It posted a net loss of $10.6 million, up from $2.9 million a year earlier.
The company attributed the drop in revenue to lower international sales, and said the bigger loss was the result of spending on the clinical trials.
Over the past year, Rockwell Medical’s stock has traded as high as $16.91 a share and as low as $6.80. It closed Tuesday at $10.46, giving the company a market value of $218 million.
(Disclosure: Mark Cuban, the majority owner of Sharesleuth.com LLC, has a short position in Rockwell Medical’s shares. Chris Carey, the editor of Sharesleuth, does not invest in individual stocks and has no position in Rockwell Medical’s shares).
DEALINGS WITH XIRINACHS
Rockwell Medical has not commented publicly on the charges the SEC brought against Xirinachs and Emerald Asset Advisors, or on its business relationship with them.
When Rockwell Medical granted Emerald Asset Advisors the extension on the 400,000 warrants last November, those warrants could have been exercised at a profit of more than $775,000.
By the end of last year, the figure had risen to almost $1.1 million. Further increases in Rockwell Medical’s stock price in January and February added to the potential gains.
SEC filings show that 280,000 other warrants that Rockwell Medical had issued to Emerald Asset Advisors in the fall of 2008 were exercised in November.
The difference between the exercise price of those warrants and the market price of the underlying shares was at least $1.6 million. Another 20,000 warrants had been exercised previously, for unknown gains.
We calculated that the total gains on the 700,000 warrants Rockwell Medical issued to Emerald Asset Advisors could top $3.2 million. It is unclear what specific services Emerald Asset Advisors performed for that compensation, or how Rockwell Medical benefited.
Yocum, who began his career as a physician, joined Rockwell Medical in February 2009 as vice president of drug development and medical affairs. He previously held the same position at Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: HALO).
According to Yocum’s suit, his initial pay at Rockwell Medical was $278,000 a year. He also was eligible for a bonus of up to 25 percent of that salary and got 100,000 stock options that vested over three years.
That account squares with Rockwell Medical’s SEC filings.
In January 2010, Yocum received a $58,000 bonus, plus a salary increase to $298,000 annually. SEC filings show he also received 75,000 additional performance-based stock options.
The problems began the next month. According to Yocum’s suit, Rockwell Medical learned in February 2010 that its Phase IIb study for SFP failed to meet its primary efficacy target.
“Essentially, except for showing an absence of safety issues, the study was a failure,’’ the complaint said.
Yocum said in the suit that he and other experts warned Chioini that the results of the study did not provide enough data on efficacy or dosing to proceed directly to Phase III clinical trials.
The company nevertheless issued a press release on Feb. 25, 2010 that was headlined “Rockwell Announces Positive Phase IIb Clinical Data.” The release said the study “met its objective of determining the dosing of SFP for the planned Phase III trials.’’
According to Yocum’s suit, that statement was false.
Yocum said in his complaint that, because of the failure to meet the efficacy target, the inadequate dose-selection data and “untested major design aspects of the proposed Phase III trials,” he “consistently and repeatedly urged Chioini and Rockwell to conduct additional Phase II studies before proceeding to Phase III.”
Rockwell Medical asserted in an earnings release on May 5, 2010 that the Phase IIb study showed “clear dosing data,” that the results were in line with expectations and that it hoped to move to Phase III testing later that year.
Yocum said that, given Chioini’s decision to go straight to Phase III trials, he recommended that the program include at least two different SFP doses, to account for insufficient dosage-selection data from the earlier study.
“Plaintiff explained that any other course of action was risky,” the complaint said.
Yocum said in his suit that the FDA agreed with his assessment. He said the agency noted in a July 2010 letter to the company that it appeared the completed Phase IIb study yielded no clear dose-response pattern.
In October 2010, Yocum said, Rockwell Medical asked the FDA to conduct a so-called Special Protocol Assessment and to confirm the design of its proposed Phase III trials.
A Special Protocol Assessment is a process through which companies can gain the FDA’s concurrence that their trial designs, clinical endpoints and statistical analyses are adequate to support regulatory approval.
Yocum said that before the FDA completed its review of Rockwell Medical’s Phase III trials, the company claimed in a press release that it had finalized its trial design with the agency.
That assertion appeared in a November 2010 release announcing Rockwell Medical’s earnings for the first nine months of that year. Chioini was quoted as saying the company had “concurred with the FDA on our protocol design and primary efficacy endpoint.’’
Yocum alleged in his suit that the press release was “false, fraudulent and a misrepresentation with regard to the alleged FDA concurrence with the Phase III trial design.”
Indeed, the FDA sent Rockwell Medical a letter in December 2010 rejecting its proposed trial design, the complaint said.
Yocum said representatives of the FDA and Rockwell Medical met in February 2011 to discuss the issue. That meeting did not resolve the differences. According to the suit, the FDA later told Rockwell Medical it was concerned that “it will not be possible to reach agreement on the specific features of the study design to ensure its acceptability…”
The FDA declined to comment on the situation, noting that discussions with companies about clinical trials are confidential.
Yocum said in his suit that despite the FDA’s reservations, Rockwell went ahead with the Phase III trials. He alleged that the company failed to disclose its differences with the FDA, failed to correct its previous public statement that the agency had concurred with its trial design, and failed to disclose the risks of the trials to the public.
The differences with the FDA create an additional hurdle the company must overcome to gain approval for SFP.
Yocum said in his complaint that he gave Chioini a document in May 2011 that mapped out a timeline for launching SFP. It listed the earliest potential launch date as October 2014.
But in an earnings announcement in August 2011, Rockwell Medical quoted Chioini as saying that the company expected SFP to enter the commercial market in 2013.
Yocum said in his complaint that Rockwell Medical’s Phase III trials had not accelerated between May 2011 and August 2011, and that enrollment was actually slower than projected.
Yocum said he “repeatedly and consistently corrected Chioini’s misrepresentation of the projected launch date in materials scheduled for public release,’’ but that Chioini ignored the corrections.
Rockwell Medical has since revised its timetable for SFP commercialization. It said May 31 that it had completed patient enrollment in one of two Phase III clinical trials that are designed to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of SFP. The company now hopes to wrap up the trials late next year and to gain FDA approval by the second half of 2014.
NEW FDA LABELING
Yocum said in his suit that he raised concerns in the summer of 2011 about how the Phase III trials might be affected by new dosing guidelines for a type of drug taken by people with chronic kidney disease.
Last June, the FDA adopted more conservative dosing guidelines for all erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). It said dosing should be reduced or interrupted if hemoglobin levels rose to the vicinity of 11 grams per deciliter.
Yocum said in his suit that the randomized treatment stage of Rockwell Medical’s planned Phase III trials permitted no changes in ESA dosing until hemoglobin levels reached 12.5 grams per deciliter.
Yocum said that he sent an email to others at the company, summarizing the recommendations of various clinical experts and advocating a change in the trial design to incorporate the new FDA labeling.
Yocum said in his suit that Chioini was sharply critical of his actions, calling him “unprofessional and reckless.’’ Yocum added that Chioini stopped consulting with him before issuing press releases and other public statements about the trials.
The following month, he was fired. It is unclear whether Rockwell Medical modified its clinical trials in responses to the more conservative FDA labeling for erythropoiesis-stimulating agents after Yocum left the company.
Yocum said Rockwell Medical also violated FDA rules in September 2011, when it included slides in an investor presentation that asserted that SFP offered “enhanced safety benefits compared to IV iron” and provided “safe, convenient, iron delivery.’’
Yocum said he urged Chioini to delete that language, saying claims of safety, efficacy and superiority over currently approved products ran counter to FDA regulations regarding the promotion of drugs still in trials.
NO RAISE, BONUS OR OPTIONS
Yocum said that by April 2011, he had not received a performance review for 2010, nor had he been awarded a raise, a bonus or any additional stock options.
He said Chioini told him that he was still working on the review.
Later that month, when Rockwell Medical issued the proxy statement for its annual sharedholders’ meeting, it showed that Yocum was the only company officer to receive no bonus or stock award for 2010.
An SEC filing shows that Chioini got a bonus of $198,750, equal to 40 percent of his base salary. Thomas E. Klema, the company’s chief financial officer, got a bonus of $73,750, or 25 percent of his salary. Dr. Ajay Gupta, chief scientific officer and the inventor of the SFP therapy, got a bonus of $87,000, or 25 percent of his salary.
According to the SEC filings, those three executives also got stock options valued at $2 million, plus restricted stock awards valued at nearly $1.4 million.
Rockwell Medical said in the proxy filing that the bonuses were based partly on the company’s progress in the clinical development of SFP, including the preparation for the Phase III trials.
Yocum said in his lawsuit that although he was the executive most directly responsible for advancing the clinical development of SFP, he was shut out of the bonus pool.
Yocum said that when Chioini fired him, he explained that the original deal that allowed Yocum to work from his home state of California rather than Rockwell Medical’s headquarters in Wixom, Mich. “wasn’t working out.’’
But Yocum alleged in his lawsuit that a motivating factor in his termination was his complaints about – and opposition to – “fraudulent, unlawful and unethical acts” including violations of SEC rules and FDA regulations.
Rockwell Medical’s latest proxy statement shows that the company’s other officers received $290,000 in cash bonuses last year, plus stock options valued at more than $3 million. That total included options valued at nearly $500,000 that went to Yocum’s successor.
Rockwell Medical said the 2011 bonuses were based partly on its progress in the clinical development of SFP, including the Phase III trials. It said the stock awards reflected its progress toward key goals.
SHARP INCREASE IN EXECUTIVE PAY
Sharesleuth’s review of Rockwell Medical’s proxy filings showed that executive pay has soared since 2008, despite the company’s flagging revenue and widening losses.
Chioini got $1.91 million in total compensation last year, on top of $2.31 million in 2010 and $1.54 million in 2009. About a third of that was salary and bonus. The rest was in stock awards.
Rockwell Medical’s stock rose 2.7 percent in 2010 and 7.2 percent last year. The stock is up more than 23 percent this year, thanks largely to a jump in its shares over the past two weeks.
Rockwell Medical said in an SEC filing last week that its board of directors had granted Chioini an additional 100,000 shares of restricted stock, with a current market value of more than $1 million. The shares vest over three years. The board also awarded 60,000 shares to Klema and 75,000 shares to Gupta.
Rockwell Medical’s board has just four members – Chioni, two people in the dialysis business and an attorney.
THE 2008 CONSULTING DEAL
As Sharesleuth previously reported, Rockwell Medical issued a total of 700,000 warrants to Xirinachs’ Emerald Asset Advisors in November 2008, as compensation for a consulting agreement.
The agreement called for the firm to introduce Rockwell Medical to licensing partners, acquisition candidates, analysts, brokers and institutional investors.
Rockwell Medical initially signed a one-year deal with Emerald Asset Advisors. It gave that firm warrants to buy 300,000 shares at $1.99 each, which was five cents above the previous day’s closing price.
Rockwell Medical’s stock more than doubled in the 15 days following that agreement, rising as high as $4.79 a share. Its shares surged at a time when the overall stock market was slumping because of the global financial crisis.
On Nov. 21, 2008, Rockwell Medical contracted for a second year of services. The payment was an additional 400,000 warrants — half exercisable at $4.54 a share and half exercisable at $7 a share.
THE SEC CHARGES
In September 2009, the SEC brought civil charges against Xirinachs, Emerald Asset Advisors and four other defendants. The complaint alleged that the defendants engaged in the unregistered distribution and sale of more than 21 billion shares of a penny stock company called Universal Express Inc. The SEC said they generated more than $34 million through the sale of the shares, and that Xirinachs accounted for more than half of that total.
According to the complaint, the defendants bought the shares at deep discounts directly from Universal Express, whose top executives also were charged with violations. Universal Express collapsed, and its stock became worthless.
Last August, a federal judge granted the SEC’s request for summary judgment in the Universal Express case and found Xirinachs and Emerald Asset Advisors liable for repeated sales of unregistered securities. The judge did not immediately rule on whether Xirinachs and Emerald Asset Advisors should disgorge the roughly $3.4 million in profits the SEC said they earned from the share sales, or whether they should pay other penalties.
Despite the court’s finding on the SEC violations, Rockwell Medical agreed three months later to modify the terms of its agreement with Xirinachs, to give him more time to exercise some of his warrants.
Rockwell Medical did not explain why it granted the extension.
In March of this year, the court heard evidence on whether Xirinachs and Emerald Asset Advisors knew, or should have known, that the Universal Express stock was restricted from trading.
Xirinachs and Emerald Asset Advisors said in court filings that they thought the shares were unrestricted, meaning they could sell them on the open market without them being registered for resale by the company.
They said that they had received a corporate resolution from Universal Express, signed by its board of directors, indicating that the shares were freely tradable.
They contended that the stock certificates did not bear any restrictive legend, and that the transfer agent and the brokerage involved in the transactions did not raise any questions about the shares.
They also said they thought Universal Express had issued the stock under an exemption for companies that had reorganized through bankruptcy proceedings.
The SEC countered that Xirinachs and Emerald Asset Advisors knew or should have known that the shares could not be freely traded. It argued that some of their actions suggest that they knew the shares were restricted and disregarded that information, or that they were reckless in not seeking to determine the true status of the shares.
The SEC said:
–Xirinachs should have known from his many years as a stock broker and an investment advisor to hedge funds that the shares could not be traded because they were not covered by a registration statement.
– Xirinachs and Emerald Asset Advisors did not seek an independent legal opinion on whether the shares were exempt from registration, and left blank the section on brokerage forms that would affirm the shares were exempt.
– Xirinachs and Emerald Asset Advisors had previously bought restricted stock from other companies, including Rockwell Medical, and required them to file registration statements so the shares could be traded.
– Xirinachs and Emerald Asset Advisors had not been a party to Universal Express’ prior bankruptcy proceedings, so their shares were not eligible to be sold under that exemption.
–Xirinachs and Emerald Asset Advisors engaged in the same type of prohibited transactions by buying and selling restricted shares in another company, Eternal Image Inc. (Pink Sheets: ETNL). The SEC has not brought charges in connection with those sales.
The SEC sought an order that would require Xirinachs and Emerald Asset Advisors to disgorge a $3.4 million in profits, plus at least $813,000 in prejudgment interest. It also asked the court to assess nearly $6 million in combined civil penalties for Xirinachs and Emerald Assets Advisors, and to ban them from participating in future penny stock offerings.
The judge hearing the case, in the Southern District of New York, ruled last week that Xirinachs knew that his actions in buying and quickly reselling the Universal Express shares were wrong. The judge noted that certain aspects of Xirinachs’ testimony were not credible, and that his explanations for some of his actions defied common sense.
The judge ordered Xirinachs and Emerald Asset Advisors to pay $4.15 million in disgorgement and interest, plus a fine of $6,500 for every sale of unregistered shares.
The SEC said in a filing this week that Xirinachs engaged in a total of 916 improper share sales, 590 of them through a brokerage account in the name of Emerald Asset Advisors and 326 through another account.
At $6,500 per transaction, that would translate to a fine of $5.95 million. The judge also barred Xirinachs and Emerald Asset Advisors from any penny stock transactions for three years.
EXTENDING THE WARRANTS
Emerald Asset Advisors was supposed to have exercised all 700,000 of its Rockwell Medical warrants by Nov. 5, 2011. But four days before that expiration date, the company extended the life of 400,000 of them to May 4.
SEC filings show that, as of Nov. 1, 2011, only 20,000 of the first tranche of 300,000 warrants had been exercised.
If Xirinachs exercised the other 280,000 warrants before their Nov. 5 expiration date, he would have reaped gains of $1.6 million to $1.86 million, depending on the timing of the transaction.
Rockwell Medical said in a recent SEC filing that half of the 400,000 warrants whose lives had been extended until May 4 were no longer outstanding as of the end of 2011.
That suggests that those warrants – which had an exercise price of $4.54 a share – were converted sometime between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31.
The company’s highest closing price in that period was $8.76, on Dec. 23. The shares underlying the 200,000 warrants would have had a market value of $1.75 million on that date, or $844,000 more than the exercise price.
It is unclear when the final 200,000 warrants were exercised. The potential gains on those warrants would have reached their highest point in February, when Rockwell Medical’s shares closed at $11.19 a share.
At that price, the difference between the exercise price of the warrants and the shares underlying them would have been $838,000.
RECENT STOCK MOVES
Rockwell Medical’s shares ended 2011 at $8.47. They jumped to $9.70 on the first trading day of 2012 and kept climbing from there, reaching an interday high of $11.75 on Feb. 9.
After the markets closed that day, the company announced that it planned to raise $17.5 million by selling new shares in a registered direct offering at a price of $9.50 a share.
Rockwell Medical’s shares sank to a low of $8.51 in the weeks after that below-market placement.
In April, Summer Street Research Partners issued a favorable report on Rockwell Medical, with a buy rating and a target price of $20 a share. Summer Street was one of the two firms that managed the company’s February stock placement.
Rodman & Renshaw LLC, the other co-manager of the placement, set a target price of $16.
Rockwell’s stock climbed back above $10 this month, after Chioini and Gupta made favorable comments about the SFP trials and other corporate developments in an investor presentation streamed over the Internet.
MORE DETAILS OF XIRINACHS’ SEC CASE
The SEC’s complaint against Xirinachs and Emerald Asset Advisors alleged that they bought nearly 6.4 billion shares of Universal Express directly from that company in 2006 and 2007, through an arrangement not covered by any registered stock offering.
The SEC said Emerald Asset Advisors then sold 6.3 billion of the shares into the public market, generating $11 million in proceeds. The complaint said that they paid roughly $7.9 million to Universal Express for those shares.
The SEC’s complaint also said that Xirinachs opened a brokerage account for an offshore entity called North Atlantic Resources Ltd., which bought 9.2 billion shares of Universal Express stock, for a fraction of a cent each.
The SEC said North Atlantic sold 9.5 billion shares of Universal Express’ stock into the public markets, including shares it bought from Emerald Asset Advisors. It collected roughly $6.5 million for those shares — more than double the $3 million it paid Universal Express.
North Atlantic is registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
According to the complaint, Xirinachs had an agreement with North Atlantic that called for him to receive 10 percent of any profits from the share transactions.
TRADING IN ROCKWELL SHARES
A brokerage statement filed as evidence in the Universal Express case shows that Xirinachs’ firm was an active trader in the Rockwell Medical’s shares in the second half of 2007. The statement, for the month of September, showed that on some days Emerald Asset Advisors accounted for a large percentage of Rockwell Medical’s total trading volume.
The statement also showed that Emerald Asset Advisors was shorting Rockwell Medical’s shares – in essence betting against the company.
The brokerage statements show that on Sept. 17, 2007, Emerald Asset Advisors sold 5,100 shares of Rockwell Medical’s stock in a shorting transaction, at prices ranging from $4.95 to $5.15 a share.
Total trading volume in Rockwell’s stock that day was 16,700 shares.
On Sept. 18, 2007, Emerald Asset Advisors bought 5,100 shares, at just over $5.10 a share. Trading volume on that day was 12,100 shares.
On Sept. 19, Emerald Asset Advisors sold 6,000 shares of Rockwell Medical in a shorting transaction. And on Sept. 25, it shorted an additional 14,000 shares..
The trading volume on the 25th was 48,400 shares; Rockwell Medical’s share price fell 5 percent that day.
The records show that Emerald Asset Advisors then bought 20,000 shares on Sept. 26 and Sept. 27. Rockwell Medical’s shares hit a low of $4.33 on the 26th, but within a few days recovered to $5.70.
A little more than a year later, Rockwell Medical hired Xirinachs to promote the company.
Saar Research provided fact-checking services for this article