ARTICLE | Company News

Jury awards Asahi $547M in suit against Actelion

May 3, 2011 12:42 AM UTC

A jury in a California superior court awarded Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) up to $547 million from Actelion Ltd. (SIX:ATLN) related to Actelion's termination of a deal between the former partners for Asahi's cardiovascular candidate fasudil. Actelion said it will determine next steps, including a possible appeal, after the jury has completed deliberations on potential punitive damages, which are set to begin Tuesday. Actelion fell CHF4.44 to CHF46.51 on Monday.

The decision comes ahead of Actelion's annual meeting on Thursday, when the biotech will face off against shareholder Elliott Advisors over the direction of the company. Elliott, which owns more than 6% of the biotech, sent a letter on Sunday urging Actelion's board to provide answers about how the Asahi matter was handled. Elliott said, "We view this negative verdict as further evidence of an inept management and a board of directors that has either failed to recognise or been kept out of the loop on serious, strategic legal matters." Actelion said in a statement that the criticisms "have no factual basis" (see BioCentury, April 25). ...