Friday, June 18, 2021

Alexion Pharmaceuticals to pay $25 million to settle foreign bribery law violations

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Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. has reached a tentative settlement with U.S. authorities under which the company would pay less than $25 million to resolve claims it violated an antibribery law.

The Boston-based biopharmaceutical company in its annual report Wednesday said it has reached an agreement in principle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation.

The probe, focusing on Alexion’s grant-making activities and FCPA compliance in a number of countries, has been under way since about May 2015, when the company received a subpoena from the SEC, Alexion said.

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Later that year, the U.S. Justice Department also opened an investigation into Alexion’s compliance with the FCPA. The department recently informed Alexion that it had closed its inquiry into the matter, the company said Wednesday.

An Alexion spokeswoman declined to provide further comment on the potential SEC settlement.

In its report, the company said it was cooperating with the probes and that it is implementing a companywide plan to strengthen its business processes and controls.

The FCPA investigations into Alexion focused on the company’s operations in countries including Brazil, Colombia, Japan, Russia and Turkey. U.S. authorities have also sought information related to Alexion’s recalls of specific lots of the immunosuppressive drug Soliris, Alexion has said.

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