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T   31.51 (-1.10%)
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'Pharma Bro' wants out of prison to research coronavirus

Posted on Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 By Tom Hays, Associated Press

Martin Shkreli
FILE- In this Aug. 4, 2017 file photo, former pharmaceutical company CEO, Martin Shkreli, arrives at federal court in New York. The convicted former drug company wants out of prison so he can help research a treatment for the coronavirus. Shkreli's attorney said Tuesday, April 7, 2020, that he will be filing court papers asking federal authorities to release Shkreli for three months so he can do laboratory work “under strict supervision.” (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Convicted former drug company CEO Martin Shkreli, known as “Pharma Bro,” wants to get out of prison so he can help research a treatment for the coronavirus, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Defense attorney Ben Brafman said that he will file court papers asking federal authorities to release Shkreli for three months so he can do laboratory work “under strict supervision.”

His client — best known before his arrest for drug price-gouging and his snarky online persona — is housed at a low-security prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania.

“I have always said that if focused and left in a lab, Martin could help cure cancer,” Brafman said in a statement. “Maybe he can help the scientific community better understand this terrible virus.”

In a research proposal posted online, Shkreli called the pharmaceutical industry’s response to the pandemic “inadequate” and said researchers at every drug company “should be put to work until COVID-19 is no more.”

Shkreli wrote that his background “as a successful two-time biopharma entrepreneur, having purchased multiple companies, invented multiple new drug candidates” would make him a valuable asset.

“I am one of the few executives experienced in ALL aspects of drug development," he said, adding, "I do not expect to profit in any way, shape or form from coronavirus-related treatments.”

Shkreli, 37, was sentenced to seven years in prison 2018 for crimes that included lying to investors about the performance of two hedge funds he ran, withdrawing more money from those funds than he was entitled to get, and defrauding investors in a drug company, Retrophin, by hiding his ownership of some of its stock.

A judge ordered Shkreli to forfeit $7.3 million.

Shkreli first gained notoriety by buying the rights to a lifesaving drug at another company in 2014 and raising the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

He is also known for attacking critics on social media and offering a bounty to anyone who could give him one of Hillary Clinton’s hairs.


8 Stocks You Can Count On During Any Crisis

Depending on how you look at it, the economic outlook is getting cloudier or clearer.

The argument for a cloudy economy is easy to make. Multiple times of day we hear about more Americans testing positive for the novel coronavirus. The worldwide number of positive tests exceeds one million. And unfortunately, it will go higher. We just don’t know by how much.

But there are two parts to this ongoing situation. The first is the real-time science experiment as the world attempts to flatten the curve. The other is the very real economic impact. And the numbers of the economic carnage are coming in faster than any significant evidence of a flattening curve.

The number of unemployed now exceeds six million and will only rise. The government is throwing everything including the kitchen sink at the problem. But it’s an experiment in real-time. We won’t know the results for some time.

But even while we wait for a new normal to return, there are ways for you to profit. There are companies that are keeping our economy going now, and have a business model that sets them up well for success after the pandemic is over.

View the "8 Stocks You Can Count On During Any Crisis".

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