Northwest Biotherapeutics Files Lawsuit Against Major Market Makers for Market Manipulation

CategoriesFinance_, Gamestop., Issue Jan'23


Northwest Biotherapeutics Files Lawsuit Against Major Market Makers for Market Manipulation


Trading data shows that seven preeminent market makers engaged in market manipulation via spoofing to drive down Northwest Biotherapeutics’ stock prices as the company worked to raise funds to bring breakthrough cancer treatments to market

NEW YORK, NY – Today, Northwest Biotherapeutics (OTCQB: NWBO) filed a lawsuit against some of the largest and most influential market makers in the world, including Citadel Securities LLC, Canaccord Genuity LLC, G1 Execution Services LLC (a subsidiary of Susquehanna International Group), GTS Securities LLC, Virtu Americas LLC (including Knight Securities), Instinet LLC, and Score Priority Corp, alleging repeated manipulation of the company’s stock over five years.

Northwest Biotherapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of [redacted] personalized cancer [redacted] , is alleging that these market makers have been engaging in a deceptive market manipulation tactic known as spoofing, which involves placing huge quantities of sell orders to fool the market into devaluing the company’s stock so the market makers can buy at a lower price. The market makers then immediately cancel the sell orders so they can reap profits, in this case to the dismay of current and future cancer patients, as well as at the expense of Northwest Biotherapeutics and its investors. This alleged illegal trading behavior has made it significantly more difficult for the company to raise the funds necessary to bring their cancer treatment to market, where the company believes it has the potential to extend the lives of thousands of patients.

“It’s already underhanded to engage in market manipulation, but to do so at the expense of cancer patients, some of whom have no other treatments to place their hopes on, is unconscionable,” said Laura Posner, Partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC. “We’re looking forward to holding these market makers responsible for the harm they have caused, and bringing critical and necessary transparency to these markets.”

Based on the detailed data presented in the complaint, one of the most egregious examples of this behavior occurred on May 10, 2022, at the very moment the topline breakthrough results of the Phase 3 clinical trial of [redacted] to treat glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer, were being announced at the prestigious New York Academy of Sciences medical conference. Despite the presentation of significant positive data, the company alleges that during and after the announcement the defendants engaged in extensive spates of spoofing, forcing the company’s stock price down. In a market free from manipulation, the market response should have been strongly positive, not dramatically negative, in response to the positive news. Instead, the result was a $1.6 billion loss in market cap, with the share price dropping from the $2.05 high on May 9 to a low of 36.4 cents on May 10, 2022—a staggering decline of 82%.

Earlier this month, Northwest Biotherapeutics announced the results of this innovative clinical trial for [redacted] in the prestigious JAMA Oncology journal in a peer reviewed article authored by over 70 brain surgeons and oncologists. The trial results showed that the [redacted] was associated with a statistically significant and clinically meaningful life extension for the first time in many years in both newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma, with the potential to more than double 5-year survival, and with almost no serious adverse event side effects. The company believes that this breakthrough [redacted] technology may also pave the way for treatments in patients suffering from multiple types of solid tumor cancers.

The spoofing episodes against the company are alleged to have taken place repeatedly over a nearly five-year stretch, sometimes multiple times a day. Northwest Biotherapeutics alleges that it sold over 49 million shares at manipulated and devalued prices as a result of the market makers’ actions. The company believes that the market makers directly impacted the price of Northwest Biotherapeutics’ shares in the market by repeatedly and brazenly manipulating the market through their spoofing, causing Northwest Biotherapeutics to suffer significant losses as it sold millions of shares at artificially depressed prices and was slowed in bringing its encouraging drugs to market.

Northwest Biotherapeutics is represented by national law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLL

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