Texas Congressmen Conaway, Culberson Bought Shares of Plummeting Pharmaceutical Stock

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WASHINGTON -- Two Texas congressmen bought the same sinking pharmaceutical stock that has come under scrutiny for possible insider trading and cost Buffalo, N.Y., Rep. Chris Collins $17 million last week, according to multiple news outlets.Republican Reps. Mike Conaway of Midland and John Culberson of Houstonpurchased stock this year in Innate Immunotherapeutics, a small Australian pharmaceutical company. Health and Human Secretary Tom Price also purchased stock in the company, which became a sticking point during his confirmation process.Collins' relationship with Innate has come under scrutiny in recent months, and the Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating whether he engaged in insider trading. The Buffalo News also reported that Collins allegedly tipped off other lawmakers and Buffalo-area leaders to invest in the company. Collins is the company's largest shareholder and sits on the firm's board. He had had also helped craft legislation to speed clinical trials, which could benefit Innate.Innate’s stock, which hit a $1.77 high in late January, had plateaued at around 70 cents a share since March. But on June 23, it dropped from 64 to 55 cents a share as American stockholders sold 1.8 million shares, the Buffalo News reported. Four days later, Innate executives announced that its highly anticipated multiple sclerosis drug had failed initial critical trials, driving its stock price down to 5 cents a share as stockholders rushed to sell.According to reports filed in accordance with the STOCK Act, which regulates financial disclosures by government officials, Culberson bought Innate stock worth between $1,001 and $15,000, the lowest cost bracket requiring disclosure, on Jan. 26 and then sold it on June 17.   Continue reading...

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