WASHINGTON Dec 23 U.S. regulators on Thursday
sued "unknown purchasers" of InterMune ITMN.O securities for
suspicious activity ahead of a favorable drug announcement that
sent the drugmaker's options soaring as much as 466 percent.
The Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that the
unknown purchasers bought InterMune options ahead of the
biotech's Dec. 17 announcement that a European Union drug
regulator had recommended one of its drugs for approval.
On that day, InterMune's stock jumped about 144 percent to
close at $34.89, the SEC said.
The unknown purchasers are in a position to realize total
profits of about $912,000, the SEC said.
The unknown purchasers have not yet been identified because
their orders originated through foreign brokerage firms, which
cleared the option trades through domestic brokerages. Those
firms executed the orders through the Chicago Board Options
Exchange and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange.
On Thursday, InterMune's stock rose 2 percent to $37.05.
(Reporting by Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Gary Hill)