Armed with a contraband phone, and incarcerated Martin Shkreli is a comeback with his notorious pharmaceutical company, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal . So far, the company is still losing millions of dollars.
Shkreli is just 1
But Ponzi siphoning is not what made Shkreli infamous. He gained notoriety in 2015 when another [pharmaceutical company] founded, Turing Pharmaceuticals, bought the rights to a decades-old anti-parasitic drug, Daraprim, and abruptly increased its price from $ 13.50 to pill to $ 750 a pill. The rise brought a windfall of profits for Turing, as well as widespread condemnation and increased scrutiny on the pharmaceutical industry's drug-pricing tactics as a whole.
Amid the federal charges and conviction, Shkreli stepped down as Turing's CEO, and the company tried to distance itself from the disgraced executive. It changed its name twice — first to Vyera, then to Phoenixus, its current name.
Though Phoenixus didn't lower Daraprim's price, it's no longer paying off. Daraprim sales started slipping amid public backlash and competition. Last year, the company lost $ 1.2 million in the first quarter. Since then, according to WSJ . The company's third-quarter financial statement shows a year-to-date $ 10.3 million net loss, leaving $ 37.7 million in cash.
This doesn't seem to have deterred Shkreli. He is reportedly working diligently on making a pharmaceutical comeback once he is released from the prison in 2023. By his calculations, Phoenixus could be worth $ 3.7 billion by that time, up from his generous 2017 estimate or $ 500 million. With a contraband phone and access to research studies on prison computers, Shkreli is said to be calling shots. He is (allegedly) advised on the fact that Phoenix's officials are making more money makers like Daraprim. In September, Shkreli oversaw a $ 20 million deal with Orphan Star Therapeutics LLC, which will go towards developing drugs for rare diseases. In January, Phoenixus licensed a drug called a company called Seelos for $ 1.5 million and 250,000 Seelos shares.
Phoenixus investors — including French financier Bertrand des Pallieres — are wary of the deals, and they are pushing for more transparency. "We respect a lot of self-dealing," Pallieres told the WSJ .
Conducting business from within prison is prohibited. According to company associates, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly into Shkreli's involvement at Phoenixus.