The value of a pharmaceutical stock owed by Rep. Chris Collins — which has been the subject of criticisms and questions in Congress — tanked on Tuesday, costing the representative millions of dollars, according to a report.
Innate Immunotherapeutics' stock dropped 93 percent on Friday after a drug to treat multiple sclerosis failed during a trial. The Buffalo News reports the stock dropped to a value less than five Australian cents, costing Collins millions. The paper estimates Collins lost between $5 million and $44 million.
Collins faces an ethics investigation for his role in finding investors for Innate Immunotherapeutics. He also was scrutinized after critics accused him of buying stock in the company shortly before he voted on legislation that would made it easier for Innate Immunotherapeutics to get FDA approval.
Collins — whose 27th District includes the western half of Ontario County, including Canandaigua, Farmington and Victor — is the company's largest shareholder.
According to a Buffalo news report last month, the congressional ethics office is interviewing five to six people, some from western New York, who invested in Innate Immunotherapeutics.
Collins has previously faced scrutiny for his purchase of shares of the biotech company, WGRZ reported. Critics accused Rep. Collins of buying the stock shortly before he voted on legislation that would make it easier for companies, like Innate Immunotherapeutics, to get FDA approval for trials.
Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price, a former congressman, also faced scrutiny for stock purchases of the company during his confirmation hearings this year.
In a statement last month, Collins' office said the congressman "has followed all ethical guidelines related to his personal finances during his time in the House and will continue to do so," adding, "... He is very proud of the progress the company has made over the years and hopeful it will develop a potentially life-saving treatment for the millions of individuals suffering from Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis."