Biopure Corp. is hoping to convince its shareholders that it’s in their best interests to approve a settlement agreement related to a 2004 lawsuit.
The lawsuit, filed by several shareholders who bought stock between March and December 2003, alleges that former executives concealed the fact that the Food & Drug Administration was withholding approval of the Cambridge-based firm’s flagship product, the blood substitute Hemopure, and halting further clinical trials over safety concerns.
The complaint alleged that the company raised millions on two public stock offerings before disclosing the bad news from the FDA, which sent its stock price plummeting.
Now Biopure is hoping that a hearing scheduled for July 24 at the U.S. District Court in Boston will put the matter to rest, after it implemented most of the changes demanded by the plaintiffs, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing:
“The Plaintiffs believe that the causes of action asserted in their complaints have merit, but also believe that the Settlement provides substantial immediate benefits for the Company and its shareholders. Plaintiffs and their counsel believe that the terms and conditions of the Settlement are fair, reasonable, adequate, and proper, and that it is in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders to settle the Derivative Action pursuant to the Stipulation.”
Biopure is still struggling to get Hemopure into clinical trials. The FDA blocked repeated requests for further trials of its possible use on the battlefield and in emergency trauma cases, a decision the U.S. Navy and several physicians blasted as baffling and unwarranted.