BiondVax CEO suspected of insider trading

Ron Babkov

Dr. Ron Babecoff allegedly passed on information to an acquaintance who profited by NIS 114,000.

The Israel Securities Authority department of investigations, intelligence, and trading supervision has transferred the investigative case against BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Nasdaq: BVXV; (TASE:BVXV) president, CEO, director, and shareholder Dr. Ron Babecoff to the securities department in the Tel Aviv prosecutor's office. The case is being transferred for consideration of prosecution for insider trading.

Securities Authority investigators arrested Babecoff in March, together with two associates: brothers Tal and Roie Cohen. Babecoff is suspected of providing inside information about BiondVax to Tal Cohen, who shared it with his brother and another associate. The three men who received the information made a combined NIS 114,000 profit after the information was released to the public.

BiondVax, which engages in research and development for vaccines against influenza, has been dual listed since May 2015.

Tal Cohen was in direct contact with Babecoff during the relevant period. According to the investigation findings, the company published a significant immediate report on September 2, 2015 about its agreement with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NAID), a US government agency, for conducting a Phase II clinical trial in the US in 2015-2016. The company's report also stated that once it is approved, the planned trial would be sponsored and financed by the NAID, which would consider using M-001, the product being developed by BiondVax. The company also said that it was producing enough of the product to carry out the planned trial. The share price then soared 35% on a large trading turnover.

Babecoff is suspected of giving this information about BiondVax to Tal Cohen before the immediate report. It is also suspected that shortly after receiving the information from Babecoff, Tal Cohen passed it on to his brother Roie and another person. Roie then allegedly bought the share on the market, which yielded the suspects a NIS 114,000 profit.

Babecoff and the Cohen brothers are suspected of committing the crime of insider trading under Sections 52c and 52d of the Securities Law.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 13, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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