BELLUS Health Inc. Class Action Lawsuit

Company Name
BELLUS Health Inc.
Stock Symbol
Class Period
September 5, 2019 to July 5, 2020
Motion Deadline
May 15, 2021
Southern District of New York
33 days left to seek lead plaintiff status

Case Summary

The BELLUS Health Inc. class action lawsuit charges BELLUS Health and certain of its executives with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and seeks to represent purchasers or acquirers of BELLUS Health securities between September 5, 2019 and July 5, 2020, inclusive (the “Class Period”).  The BELLUS Health class action lawsuit was commenced on March 16, 2021 in the Southern District of New York and is captioned Cachia v. BELLUS Health Inc., No. 21-cv-02278.

BELLUS Health is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company whose lead product is BLU-5937, which is being developed for the treatment of chronic cough (one that lasts over eight weeks) and other afferent hypersensitization-related disorders.  Merck & Co. has been leading the race to develop the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved treatment for chronic cough.  In March 2020, Merck announced that its experimental drug, Gefapixant, had met its primary endpoint in two Phase 2 studies.  However, side effects of taste alteration or loss of taste were reported in 80% of the patients on Gefapixant.

The BELLUS Health class action lawsuit alleges that, throughout the Class Period, defendants touted that because BLU-5937 was more selective than Gefapixant, it would come with a better safety profile and would not have the side effects of taste alteration or loss of taste.  As a result, the BELLUS Health class action lawsuit alleges that defendants misled investors into believing that the Phase 2 study for BELLUS Health’s BLU-5937 would demonstrate the same level of efficacy as, but a higher level of safety than, Merck’s Gefapixant.  However, the BELLUS Health class action lawsuit alleges that defendants knew, but failed to disclose, that BLU-5937 had a much higher risk of failing to demonstrate efficacy for chronic cough.  Accordingly, the BELLUS Health class action lawsuit alleges that despite Merck’s successful Phase 2 study, BLU-5937 had a high risk of failing its Phase 2 study.

The BELLUS Health class action lawsuit further alleges that defendants’ scheme: (i) deceived the investing public regarding BELLUS Health’s business, operations, drug products, drug product development, competition, and present and future business prospects; (ii) facilitated BELLUS Health’s September 2019 public offering (“Offering”); (iii) created artificial demand for the BELLUS Health common shares sold in the Offering; (iv) enabled BELLUS Health to receive approximately $70 million in net proceeds from the sale of BELLUS Health common stock in the Offering; and (v) caused investors to purchase BELLUS Health publicly traded common stock at artificially inflated prices.

Then, on July 6, 2020, defendants announced that BLU-5937 had failed a Phase 2 study of chronic cough patients for whom other treatments had not worked.  Specifically, defendants revealed that BLU-5937 was not significantly better than a placebo at reducing the frequency at which patients coughed.  The Phase 2 trial showed a “clinically meaningful and highly statistically significant” effect only on a subset of patients who had high cough counts (around 32 per day), so BELLUS Health was planning a Phase 2b trial focused on those patients.  On this news, BELLUS Health’s stock price fell approximately 75%, damaging investors.

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 permits any investor who purchased BELLUS Health securities during the Class Period to seek appointment as lead plaintiff in the BELLUS Health class action lawsuit.  A lead plaintiff is generally the movant with the greatest financial interest in the relief sought by the putative class who is also typical and adequate of the putative class.  A lead plaintiff acts on behalf of all other class members in directing the BELLUS Health class action lawsuit.  The lead plaintiff can select a law firm of its choice to litigate the BELLUS Health class action lawsuit.  An investor’s ability to share in any potential future recovery of the BELLUS Health action lawsuit is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff.  If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff of the BELLUS Health class action lawsuit or have questions concerning your rights regarding the BELLUS Health class action lawsuit, please provide your information here or contact counsel, Jennifer Caringal of Robbins Geller, at 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058 or via e-mail at jcaringal@rgrdlaw.com.  Lead plaintiff motions for the BELLUS Health class action lawsuit must be filed with the court no later than May 17, 2021.

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP is one of the world’s leading law firms representing investors in securities class action litigation.  With 200 lawyers in 9 offices, Robbins Geller has obtained many of the largest securities class action recoveries in history.  For eight consecutive years, ISS Securities Class Action Services has ranked the Firm in its annual SCAS Top 50 Report as one of the top law firms in the world in both amount recovered for shareholders and total number of class action settlements.  Robbins Geller attorneys have helped shape the securities laws and have recovered tens of billions of dollars on behalf of aggrieved victims.  Beyond securing financial recoveries for defrauded investors, Robbins Geller also specializes in implementing corporate governance reforms, helping to improve the financial markets for investors worldwide.  Robbins Geller attorneys are consistently recognized by courts, professional organizations and the media as leading lawyers in the industry.

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