SP Share Price, Insider Trading, and the ENHANCE Timeline: Now in Fancy Graphs
Prompted by continuing coverage of the controversial ENHANCE study—including a recent letter fired off by Senator Chuck Grassley to the CEOs of the study’s sponsors, Merck and Schering-Plough—the Pathophilia blog engages in another exercise that illustrates the chronology of SP’s stock price, insider transactions, and important events in the ENHANCE study timeline.*
The years preceding 2006 are shown primarily to illustrate what may have been normative insider trading, during a time when the quality of the ENHANCE study data had not been realized. The most intriguing event revealed from this investigation (which may only be news to me, but at least I’m providing semi-colorful graphs) is the inordinately large sale or exercise of stock options taken by 3 SP officers from April 20, 2007, to May 21, 2007—at a time when SP’s share price was at an all-time high since 2003, but also when independent contractors were wrestling with the now-recognized data-quality problems of ENHANCE.
According to these insider-transaction data, Carrie Smith Cox, Brent Saunders, and Ron Cheeley sold a little more than $32 million and exercised stock options to the tune of $19 million during this time period. Carrie Smith Cox sold the lion’s share of stock for $28 million (as has been previously reported) and exercised $16.5 million in stock options.
CDC = Cholesterol Development Committee, a joint venture of the study sponsors.