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Biopure Ex-CEO Pays $120,000 to Settle SEC Case

The former chief executive of pharmaceutical company Biopure has agreed to pay a $120,000 civil penalty to settle allegations of misleading public statements about efforts to gain regulatory approval of the company's blood substitute, the Securities
and Exchange Commission said today.

Thomas Moore agreed to the settlement without admitting or denying the charges.

The SEC said the company received negative information from the Food and Drug Administration about its efforts to get approval for Hemopure, its primary product, but failed to
disclose the information or falsely described it.

For eight months Moore and other Biopure employees concealed that the FDA had placed a clinical hold on Hemopure while making public statements about Biopure's plans to get approval for trauma uses of Hemopure, the SEC said.

The investor protection agency also said that in July 2003, the FDA informed Biopure that it had not approved the company's application for Hemopure's use in orthopedic surgery and questioned the product's safety.

The company issued public statements beginning in August 2003 describing the FDA's statements as good news, which caused the stock price to increase more than 20%, the SEC said.

As the truth about Hemopure's status came out through disclosures between late October and December 2003, the company's stock price dropped almost 66 percent from its Aug. 1, 2003, price.

An attorney for Moore could not immediately be reached for comment.