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Healthcare Analyst Involved in Insider Trading Case Identified

Tuesday, 2 Nov 2010 | 5:10 PM ET

FrontPoint Partners, the Connecticut hedge fund entangled in a criminal and civil probe of alleged insider trading in shares of a biotech company, has identified health-care analyst Chip Skowron as the employee who participated in the scheme.

Skowron, who according to data kept by FactSet is a medical doctor who worked at the hedge funds Millennium Partners and SAC before joining FrontPoint, has been placed on leave “pending the outcome of the investigation,” according to a statement from Steve Bruce, FrontPoint’s publicist. FrontPoint is “cooperating fully” with the investigation, Bruce added. Skowron couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York earlier today announced the arrest ofYves Benhamou, a French doctor who allegedly tipped a hedge fund off to confidential developments in a clinical drug trial in order to help the fund stave off $30 million in losses from its holdings in the drug’s manufacturer, Human Genome Sciences.

Benhamou was a paid consultant to hedge funds, the U.S. Attorney alleged, and improperly shared his insight about setbacks in the testing of Albuferon, a hepatitis drug, with an unnamed “co-conspirator” at a hedge fund. That fund then sold shares of Human Genome Sciences, the small Rockville, Md. biopharmaceutical company that made Albuferon, avoiding tens of millions of dollars in potential losses.

Late today, Human Genome Sciences shares were down slightly in Nasdaq trading, closing at $26.39. Benhamou’s lawyer declined to comment.

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