INSYS Files for Bankruptcy, Share Price Crumbles

Shares of INSYS dipped more than 50 percent on Monday following the announcement that it is filing for bankruptcy protection.

Just days after INSYS Therapeutics (NASDAQ:INSY) agreed on paying US$225 million to settle claims that it fraudulently sold its opioid-based painkiller, Subsys — and bribed doctors to overprescribe the drug — the company has now filed for bankruptcy.

According to a press release on Monday (June 10), the company voluntarily filed under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code, which marks the first time a drugmaker caught up in lawsuits related to the opioid epidemic has filed for bankruptcy protection.

INSYS said the company will still operate its business while complying with its payment obligations —which includes one to the US Department of Justice — and it will offload its lead product, Subsys.

Subsys was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in 2012 to treat breakthrough cancer pain, which is described as sudden or unpredictable episodes of intense pain.

“After conducting a thorough review of available strategic alternatives, we determined that a court-supervised sale process is the best course of action to maximize the value of our assets and address our legacy legal challenges in a fair and transparent manner,” INSYS Therapeutics CEO Andrew G. Long said in Monday’s announcement.

As part of INSYS’ settlement, revealed last Wednesday (June 5), its subsidiary will plead guilty to five charges of mail fraud. This will have the company pay a US$2 million fine and forfeit US$28 million, according to US Department of Justice documents. US$195 million will be paid to settle the allegations that it violated the federal False Claims Act.

The US Department of Justice claims that between 2012 and 2015, the company started using “speaker programs” to raise brand awareness of Subsys through lunches and dinners. These programs, however, were used to pay bribes and kickbacks and targeted doctors in exchange for increased Subsys prescriptions and dosages to patients.

The documents give the example of an instance in which a doctor’s assistant joined the company’s program fully aware of the intention of receiving kickbacks for giving Subsys prescriptions. The assistant wrote more than 670 prescriptions for the doctor’s patients — which were mostly unnecessary — and received US$44,000 in kickbacks from INSYS as a result.

Last year, the US stepped in for five qui tam lawsuits, claiming that INSYS violated the Civil False Claims Act. Qui tam is a type of lawsuit brought against a person or an organization on behalf of a government body that alleges the accused violated a statute, particularly against a government, through false claims. The US Department of Justice claims that these kickbacks also “took the form of jobs for the prescribers’ relatives and friends,” as well as meals and entertainment.

It is also claims that INSYS knowingly advised doctors to prescribe Subsys to patients that did not have cancer, and lied to insurers about diagnoses in order get reimbursement for Subsys prescriptions.

“Illegal conduct by pharmaceutical manufacturers, especially in the midst of the opioid crisis, will not be tolerated,” Principal Deputy Associate and Attorney General Claire Murray said in the US Department of Justice’s statement. “We will continue to investigate and vigorously prosecute these types of allegations and hold opioid manufacturers accountable under the law.”

In May, INSYS founder John Kapoor, along with four other executives of the company, were found guilty of racketeering charges, which blamed them for contributing to the opioid epidemic with sales of Subsys. All corporate executives face a maximum of 20 years of jail time and will be sentenced in September.

Shares of INSYS tumbled by more than 50 percent in Monday’s trading session to close at US$0.64, which is close to a record low. Last year the company reported a net loss of US$124.3 million, which translates to a loss of US$1.68 per share.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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Last week's top-gaining stocks on the TSX were Sierra Metals, Champion Iron, SouthGobi Resources, Verde Agritech and Forza Petroleum.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index (INDEXTSI:OSPTX) was trading at 21,198.01 by midday this past Friday (November 26). It closed the period at 21,129.53.

The index opened lower as energy stocks fell on the back of declining oil prices, which hit a two month low on the last day of the trading week.

On Friday, investors turned to safe haven assets as concerns over a new coronavirus variant increased. Gold gained, but silver fell and was on track for a weekly loss.


Last week's five TSX-listed mining stocks that saw the biggest gains are as follows:

  • Sierra Metals (TSX:SMT)
  • Champion Iron (TSX:CIA)
  • SouthGobi Resources (TSX:SGQ)
  • Verde Agritech (TSX:NPK)
  • Forza Petroleum (TSX:FORZ)

Here's a look at those companies and the factors that moved their share prices last week.

1. Sierra Metals

Sierra Metals is a growing polymetallic mining company with copper production from its Yauricocha mine in Peru and its Bolivar and Cusi mines in Mexico.

The company did not release news last week, but shares of Sierra Metals increased 8.67 percent during the period and were trading at C$1.88 by the end of the week.

2. Champion Iron

Champion Iron is an iron ore exploration and development company with several major projects in the Southern Labrador Trough, considered the largest iron ore-producing region in Canada.The company is currently developing eight iron-rich projects, including its flagship Bloom Lake asset.

Last week, Champion Iron shares increased 8.29 percent to end at C$4.05.

3. SouthGobi Resources

Integrated coal supplier SouthGobi Resources is focused on its flagship Ovoot Tolgoi mine, the closest coal mine to China, located 46 kilometers north of China-Mongolia border. The company also holds mining and exploration licences for other metallurgical and thermal coal deposits in the South Gobi province of Mongolia.

Over the five day period, shares of SouthGobi Resources increased 7.46 percent to end the week at C$0.36.

4. Verde Agritech

Verde AgriTech is developing its Cerrado Verde project, located in Brazil. The project is the source of a potassium-rich deposit from which the company intends to produce solutions for crop nutrition, crop protection, soil improvement and better sustainability.

Last Wednesday (November 24), the company announced a 169 percent rise in revenue for Q3, and revised its target for the year upward. Verde Agritech saw its share price increase 6.29 percent last week to hit C$1.86.

5. Forza Petroleum

Forza Petroleum, formerly Oryx Petroleum, is an oil exploration, development and production company. It has a 65 percent participating interest in and operates the Hawler license area in Iraq's Kurdistan region.

Last week, shares of Forza Petroleum increased 6.25 percent to trade at C$0.17 by the end of the week.

Data for 5 Top Weekly TSX Stocks articles is retrieved each Friday at 11:00 a.m. EST using TradingView's stock screener. Only companies with market capitalizations greater than C$50 million prior to the week's gains are included. Companies within the non-energy minerals and energy minerals are considered.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Energy Fuels is a client of the Investing News Network. This artice is not paid-for content.

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Last week's top-gaining mining stocks on the TSXV were Adex Mining, Butte Energy, Noble Mineral Exploration, AurCrest Gold and International Iconic Gold.

The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index (INDEXTSI:JX) ended last week on the decline, shedding 27 points shortly after the morning bell on Friday (November 26). It closed at 942.62.

Global markets were plunged into uncertainty as news that a recently discovered COVID-19 variant known as omicron may be more contagious and potentially vaccine resistant.

Several European and Asian nations scrambled during the last full week of November to implement border and flight restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of the variant, which was first detected in South Africa.


Concern that the new mutation could hinder economic recovery weighed heavily on North American markets, with most of the leading indexes slipping lower Friday morning. The energy sector bore the brunt of the declines, with West Texas crude oil dropping 9 percent and Brent crude losing 8 percent.

Gold also faced headwinds from the uncertainty. It fell below US$1,800 per ounce on Tuesday (November 23), and remained under pressure throughout the week, only briefly rallying above US$1,800 early on Friday.

Last week's five TSXV-listed mining stocks that saw the biggest gains are as follows:

Here's a look at what may have moved their share prices during the period.

1. Adex Mining

Explorer Adex Mining is developing the Mount Pleasant mine property in New Brunswick. The site houses two distinct deposits: the Fire Tower zone, which hosts a significant molybdenum and tungsten resource, and the North zone, which contains the world's largest indium reserve and one of North America's largest tin resources.

Adex filed a number of documents on SEDAR last week, including its latest management's discussion and analysis document. Company shares rose 50 percent for the last full week of November, ending the session at C$0.02.

2. Butte Energy

Butte Energy was previously engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of petroleum and natural gas reserves in Western Canada. The company sold its last remaining asset in 2017 and currently has no active operations other than the completion of reclamation activities on previously abandoned wells.

Late last year, Butte brought on a new board and management team that is actively evaluating potential opportunities, including those outside of the oil and gas industry.

Last Tuesday (November 23), the firm released its interim financial statement and management overview.

"In order to fund future operations or acquisitions, the company will need to raise additional funds by way of equity or debt. There is no assurance that the company will be able to raise such funds on terms acceptable to it," the overview reads. "These factors indicate the existence of a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern."

Shares of Butte rose 36.75 percent last week, ending the session at C$0.20.

3. Noble Mineral Exploration

Noble Mineral Exploration has holdings in Canada Nickel Company (TSXV:CNC,OTCQX:CNIKF), Spruce Ridge Resources (TSXV:SHL,OTC Pink:SRCGF) and MacDonald Mines Exploration (TSXV:BMK,OTC Pink:MCDMF).

Additionally, the diversified explorer has an interest in the Holdsworth gold exploration property near Wawa, Ontario. The property is comprised of approximately 72,000 hectares of mineral rights in the Timmins-Cochrane areas of Northern Ontario known as Project 81. According to Noble, Project 81 hosts diversified drill-ready gold, nickel-cobalt and base metals exploration targets at various stages of exploration.

Last week, the company entered into a letter of intent (LOI) with Canada Nickel Company to option mining claims in the Mann, Hanna, Duff and Reaume townships. The deal will also see Noble sell its MRO patents in Kingsmill and Mabee townships to the nickel-focused company.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to invite Canada Nickel, with their expertise, to secure this very large land package as it represents a 20km strike length where evidence of nickel, cobalt, PGM's, rhodium and rare earth minerals have been found to be present in work carried out by past explorers," said Vance White, president and CEO of Noble. The LOI news sent shares of Noble 22.83 percent higher, ending the trading week at C$0.13.

4. AurCrest Gold

AurCrest Gold is a mineral exploration company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of gold properties. Presently, the gold-centered firm has a portfolio of assets in Ontario, including the Richardson Lake, Ranger Lake and Bridget Lake gold projects.

In mid-November, the explorer released results from a spring/summer program at its 100 percent owned Ranger Lake property. The program consisted of nine drill holes designed to test one of three high-priority targets.

"Eight drill holes encountered sulphide veins and stringer zones over 1-7 metre intervals hosted in a metasedimentary sequence," the report reads. "Veins and host rocks are sheared and folded, and display characteristics consistent with stages of post-mineralization deformation and partial melting, the latter inferred by quartz-alkali feldspar leucosomal bands."

AurCrest shares added 22.46 percent last week to trade for C$0.35.

5. International Iconic Gold

Exploration company International Iconic Gold is focused on developing its wholly owned San Roque gold project, located in the Rio Negro province of Northeastern Patagonia, Argentina.

According to the company, a gold, silver and base metals resource assessment released in July 2019 shows an inferred mineral resource of 32.9 million tonnes grading 1.42 grams per tonne gold equivalent (AuEq) for 1,499,900 AuEq ounces at a cut-off grade of 0.6 grams per tonne AuEq.

Last Wednesday (November 24), the firm increased its ownership to 100 percent in Minas San Roque (MSR), which owns the legal title to the mining claims comprising Iconic Gold's flagship San Roque property.

"MSR's ownership of the deposit and the prospective geology around it are protected by a system of mine rights. Three federal government mining concessions, known as 'Minas,' totaling 94.5 square kilometers (sq. km) have been granted to MSR," the late November press release states. "In addition, MSR controls eleven temporary mineral exploration licenses, known as 'Cateos,' covering 645 sq. km around the Minas."

By Friday, shares of Iconic Gold had climbed 20.77 percent to close at C$0.14.

Data for 5 Top Weekly TSXV Stocks articles is retrieved each Friday at 11:00 a.m. EST using TradingView's stock screener. Only companies with market capitalizations greater than C$10 million prior to the week's gains are included. Companies within the non-energy minerals and energy minerals are considered.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Canada Nickel Company, MacDonald Mines Exploration, Noble Mineral Exploration and Spruce Ridge Resources are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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