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SEC Catches Wind of Inside Pharma Trading

MANHATTAN (CN) - The former business-development director of Takeda Pharmaceuticals International reaped $63,000 in profits from insider trading, the Securities and Exchange Commission claims in Federal Court.

Brent Bankosky allegedly achieved a 169 percent return by trading on secret information in 2008, but he was less successful in 2009 and 2010.

"Through his work, Bankosky obtained material, nonpublic information ('inside information') in advance of: (1) the March 31, 2008 post-close announcement that Takeda had formed a strategic alliance with Cell Genesys, Inc. ('Cell Genesys'); and

(2) the April 10, 2008 announcement that Takeda had agreed to acquire Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ('Millennium') through a cash tender offer," the complaint states. "Bankosky then breached his duty to his employer and its shareholders by using this inside information to· ·trade in his personal account and purchase out-of-the-money call options in the securities of Cell Genesys and Millennium. Through these trades, Bankosky reaped over $63,000 in profits on an initial investment of $37,500, achieving a 169% rate of return."

The unsuccessful 2009 and 2010 trades sought to profit off confidential discussions between Takeda and two other companies, Arena Pharmaceutical and AMAG Pharmaceutical, according to the SEC.

Bankosky, 41, allegedly worked for Takeda's Deerfield, Ill., office for nearly three years as a director of global licensing and business development. He resigned in May 2011, eight months after a promotion to senior director for the Osaka, Japan-based firm.

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