Pharmas Market with Mike Huckman

Biovail Ends Lawsuit As Investigations Continue

The New York Post broke the news todaythat Biovail Corporation  , Canada's biggest biotech, is dropping its lawsuit against a hedge fund, a research outlet, Bank of America Securities and its former specialty pharmaceuticals analyst, David Maris. "60 Minutes" did a piece on the lawsuits last year. Shortly after being sued, Maris left B of A. He and the company never disclosed the circumstances or details.

As an analyst, I found Maris to always be outspoken and refreshingly a bit of an outlier (usually outside the consensus on the Street). I also miss his almost-daily, entertaining 'voiceblasts' on research that he'd often spice up with production values including some song that he'd try to tie--sometimes in a bit of a stretch or cliche--into the theme of the call. He now works for a hedge fund.

Maris was a longtime bear on Biovail--he had a sell rating on the stock for two to three years--and had been on the company's bad side ever since he called it out in a research note, questioning Biovail's account of an accident involving a truck carrying a load of Biovail drugs. Maris or one of his assistants called the state police agency where the wreck happened and got the accident report which conflicted somewhat with the company's statement. In my book, that's good reporting, good research.

Biovail wanted $4.6 billion in damages. Instead, The New York Post reports Biovail will pay B of A $2 million to cover legal fees and such. Biovail is still under investigation by the Feds and the SEC.

Questions?  Comments?