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Lantern Foundation Founder Urges Senate Committee to Commence Investigation into Ligand Pharmaceuticals

Lantern Foundation Founder Urges Senate Committee to Commence Investigation into Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: LGND)

Abuse of Orphan Drug Act, Accounting and Ethical Violations Warrant Congressional and Regulatory Investigation, Organization’s Founder Says

MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Dec. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson, the founder and president of The Lantern Foundation, a U.S.-based non-profit foundation, today released a letter he has provided the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, summarizing extensive alleged abuses of accounting, pharmaceutical reimbursement and classification guidelines and regulations by Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: LGND), a U.S.-based publicly-traded pharmaceutical company.  In the letter, Lemelson urged the Committee to commence an investigation into these alleged abuses, which he says resemble those committed by Retrophin chief executive officer Martin Shkreli, who was charged with securities fraud by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in December 2015.   

The full letter to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging’s Chairwoman and Ranking Minority Member, released this morning, is available here

“After several years researching the business practices of Ligand, a clear pattern of unethical conduct has emerged, including abuse of accounting loopholes and guidelines and misuse of the Orphan Drug Act of 1983, which has been used to increase the prices of its drugs dramatically,” Lemelson said today.   

The two costly drugs cited in today’s letter to the Senate Committee, Kyprolis and Promacta, are among the nation’s most exorbitantly priced, selling at $280,000 per round of treatment and $10,196 for thirty 75 mg. tablets respectively.  

Lemelson today simultaneously announced that he would be urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other appropriate federal and state regulatory and investigatory bodies to evaluate whether, in these and other business practices, Ligand has abused the Orphan Drug Act and other statutes and regulations.

Additionally, following Lemelson’s identification of multiple accounting violations and misrepresentations by Ligand earlier this year, including the company’s overstating the value of certain deferred tax assets by approximately $27.5 million,  misclassifying its debt, and abusing the variable interest entity standard, Lemelson said today that he filed a whistleblower report earlier this year with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), urging the SEC to evaluate whether these alleged abuses constitute violations of civil or criminal statutes.  

 
About Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson

Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson is the founder and president of The Lantern Foundation, established in December of 2012 as a U.S.-based 501c(3) private foundation, and chief investment officer of Lemelson Capital Management, LLC a Massachusetts based investment management firm

For more information, see: http://www.phanarion.org and https://www.lemelsoncapital.com/  

For further information, please contact:

Lemelson Capital Management, LLC 
Investor and Media Relations 
Telephone: 508-630-2281

 
SOURCE: The Lantern Foundation

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"Like all great investments, it requires patience. We've said from day one, we'd be happy if we realized we were right after two years. We're about eight or nine months into that… we're just going to keep buying for the next four or five months and hopefully we'll get 10 percent of the company."

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