Fresenius (ETR:FRE) filed counterclaims against generic drugmaker Akorn Inc. (NSDQ:AKRX) this week in Delaware Chancery Court, alleging that Akorn tried to defraud the FDA with falsified testing data.
Akorn filed suit against Fresenius one day after the company walked away from a $4.75 billion deal to acquire Akorn. Fresenius cited an investigation that found material breaches of FDA data integrity requirements relating to Akorn’s operations.
In a court filing, Fresenius alleged that an Akorn executive knowingly oversaw the submission of falsified testing data to the FDA for its antibiotic, azithromycin, according to Reuters.
Fresenius added that its probe found “blatant fraud at the very top level of Akorn’s executive team, stunning evidence of blatant and pervasive data integrity violations.”
Akorn argued that its data integrity issue is common among generic drugmakers and that Fresenius is using the problem to back out of a deal that it regrets for financial reasons.
Since Fresenius’ chief executive Stephan Sturm took over as CEO in June last year, he has made acquisitions a key part of his strategy; Fresenius purchased a Spanish hospital chain for 5.8 billion euros in September of 2016.
The company’s Akorn merger was an attempt to move into new dosage forms and therapeutic areas for its Kabi unit, which develops generic infusion drugs and blood transfusion supplies. Akorn’s portfolio includes ophthalmic drugs, ear drops, nasal sprays, respiratory drugs and medical creams.
Akorn wants the Delaware-based court to require that Fresenius follow through with its deal, arguing that the data integrity problems being probed were not a closing condition.