Cocrystal Pharma, Inc.
- Company Name
- Cocrystal Pharma, Inc.
- Stock Symbol
- Class Period
- September 23, 2013 to September 7, 2018
- Motion Deadline
- November 19, 2018
- District of New Jersey
The complaint charges Cocrystal and certain of its officers, directors and shareholders and a stock promoter with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Cocrystal is a clinical stage biotechnology company discovering and developing novel antiviral therapeutics that target the replication machinery of hepatitis viruses, influenza viruses and noroviruses. In January 2014, BioZone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. finalized a merger with Cocrystal Discovery, Inc. and became Cocrystal Pharma, Inc.
The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants made materially false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse information regarding Cocrystal’s business and operations, including that defendants were engaged in a pump-and-dump scheme to artificially inflate Cocrystal’s stock price, which would result in government scrutiny, including from the SEC, and that defendants had failed to abide by SEC disclosure regulations. As a result of defendants’ false statements and/or omissions, Cocrystal securities traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period, with the Company’s stock price reaching a high of more than $42 per share.
Then on September 7, 2018, the SEC announced that it had filed a complaint against a “group of 10 individuals and 10 associated entities for their participation in long-running fraudulent schemes that generated over $27 million from unlawful stock sales and caused significant harm to retail investors who were left holding virtually worthless stock.” According to the SEC, “a group of prolific South Florida-based microcap fraudsters led by Barry Honig manipulated the share price of the stock of three companies[, including BioZone/Cocrystal] in classic pump-and-dump schemes. Miami biotech billionaire Phillip Frost allegedly participated in two of these schemes. . . . Honig and his associates engaged in illegal promotional activity and manipulative trading to artificially boost each issuer’s stock price and to give the stock the appearance of active trading volume,” and then they “dumped their shares into the inflated market, reaping millions of dollars at the expense of unsuspecting investors.” On this news, the price of Cocrystal shares fell $0.58 per share, or 15%, over the next two trading days to close at $3.16 per share on September 11, 2018.