RADNOR, Pa., June 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The law firm of Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP announces that securities fraud class action lawsuits have been filed against Athira Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHA) (“Athira”) on behalf of those who purchased or acquired Athira common stock: a) pursuant and/or traceable to the registration statement and prospectus (collectively, the “Registration Statement”) issued in connection with Athira’s September 2020 initial public offering (“IPO”); and/or b) between September 18, 2020 and June 17, 2021, inclusive (the “Class Period”).
Deadline Reminder: Investors who purchased or acquired Athira common stock pursuant to or traceable to the IPO and/or during the Class Period may, no later than August 24, 2021, seek to be appointed as a lead plaintiff representative of the class. For additional information or to learn how to participate in this litigation please contact Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP: James Maro, Esq. (484) 270-1453 or Adrienne Bell, Esq. (484) 270-1435; toll free at (844) 887-9500; via e-mail at [email protected]; or click https://www.ktmc.com/athira-pharma-class-action-lawsuit?utm_source=PR&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=athira
Athira is a late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company that focuses on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and stop neurodegeneration. On September 18, 2020, Athira filed its prospectus on a Form 424B4, which forms part of the Registration Statement. In the IPO, Athira sold approximately 13,397,712 shares of common stock at a price of $17.00 per share. Athira received proceeds of approximately $208.5 million from the IPO, net of underwriting discounts and commissions.
According to the complaints, on June 17, 2021, after the market closed, Athira announced in a press release that it had placed its president and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Leen Kawas, on leave pending a review of actions stemming from doctoral research she conducted while at Washington State University (“WSU”). According to Athira’s press release, Athira’s Board “formed an independent special committee to undertake this review.”
The same day, the scientific publication STAT published an article stating that WSU was investigating claims that Dr. Kawas “published several papers containing altered images while she was a graduate student.” These papers “are foundational to Athira’s efforts to treat Alzheimer’s” because they “established that a particular molecule affects the activity of HGF.” Though Athira is developing a different molecule than the one Dr. Kawas examined in the papers at issue, her “doctoral work laid the biological groundwork that Athira continues to use in their approach to treating Alzheimer’s.” Specifically, “[i]mages of Western blots, used to determine the presence of specific proteins in biological samples, look as though they’ve been altered from their original state.” According to experts cited in the article, “If the Western blots are inaccurate, then the whole study must be redone.”
Following this news, Athira’s share price fell $7.09, or approximately 39%, to close at $11.15 per share on June 18, 2021.
The complaints allege that in the Registration Statement and/or throughout the Class Period the defendants made materially false and misleading statements and omitted to state that: (1) Dr. Kawas had published research papers containing improperly altered images while she was a graduate student; (2) this purported research was foundational to Athira’s efforts to develop treatments for Alzheimer’s because it laid the biological groundwork that Athira was using in its approach to treating Alzheimer’s; (3) as a result, Athira’s intellectual property and product development for the treatment of Alzheimer’s was based on invalid research; and (4) as a result of the foregoing, the defendants’ positive statements about Athira’s business, operations, and prospects, were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.
Athira investors may, no later than August 24, 2021, seek to be appointed as a lead plaintiff representative of the class through Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP or other counsel, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member. A lead plaintiff is a representative party who acts on behalf of all class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed as a lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member’s claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Your ability to share in any recovery is not affected by the decision of whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff.
Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP prosecutes class actions in state and federal courts throughout the country involving securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duties and other violations of state and federal law. Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP is a driving force behind corporate governance reform, and has recovered billions of dollars on behalf of institutional and individual investors from the United States and around the world. The firm represents investors, consumers and whistleblowers (private citizens who report fraudulent practices against the government and share in the recovery of government dollars). The complaint in this action was not filed by Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP. For more information about Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP please visit www.ktmc.com.
Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP
James Maro, Jr., Esq.
Adrienne Bell, Esq.
280 King of Prussia Road
Radnor, PA 19087
(844) 887-9500 (toll free)
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