Athira Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: ATHA) Tanks on Account of the CEO Temporary Leave

Athira Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: ATHA) exited the market at $11.15 in its last trading session. It was down 39%. The average yearly range of this stock is $9.70 – $34.79, and at the moment, the stock is closer to its all-time low. The market capitalization of this company is 415.03M USD. The move came when the company put its CEO, Leen Kawas, on temporary leave. ATHA is reviewing Dr. Kawas’ doctoral research at the Washington State University. This news did not go down well with the investors who brought down the share value of Settle-based biotechnology company by over 30%. 

Chief Operating Officer assumes Kawas’ responsibility 

Athira Pharma is a decade-old firm that is accredited for developing drugs that treat Alzheimer’s disease. In the absence of Dr. Kawas, the company said that Mark Litton, the COO, will assume responsibilities. Dr. Kawas will continue to remain on the company’s board. In addition, an independent committee has been formed to undertake the review for actions of Dr. Kawas stemming out of her research. Athira Pharma said that it would not give further comments unless the matter is reviewed and concluded by the special review committee. 

Allegations on Dr. Kawas

According to a new website, STAT, it is alleged that Dr. Kawas altered images on her authored research papers. Four research papers which she wrote are under the radar. After the report, shares of Athira continue to crumble. 

In September 2020, Athira Pharma went public and raised $204 million for $17 apiece. During that IPO, Dr. Kawas was also the first woman who had guided a company to go public in Washington State in over 20 years. 

The doubtful integrity of Athira Pharma’s CEO has discouraged investors who reacted to the share price movement. Meanwhile, the COO of the company has already started with day-to-day activities and responsibilities. Mark Litton has been serving as the company’s COO since July 2019. Before that, Dr. Litton had been serving Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. as its COO and President. 

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