On September 25, 2020, it was announced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) that a $2.6 million civil penalty against Intrexon related to its statements about the “purported success converting relatively inexpensive natural gas into more expensive industrial chemicals using a proprietary methane bioconversion (‘MBC’) program.” In its cease-and-desist order, the SEC noted that “Intrexon was primarily using significantly more expensive pure methane for the relevant laboratory experiments but was indicating that the results had been achieved using natural gas.” Though Intrexon had pitched the program to business partners throughout 2017 and 2018, the SEC pointed out that a “number of the potential partners performed due diligence on the MBC program including reviewing lab results and plans for commercialization[, and] Intrexon has not yet found a partner for the MBC program.”
It is alleged in the complaint filed in this class action that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially misleading and/or false statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about Intrexon’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Intrexon failed to disclose to investors that: (1) Intrexon was using pure methane as feedstock for its announced yields for its methanotroph bioconversion platform instead of natural gas; (2) yields from natural gas as a feedstock were substantially lower than the aforementioned pure methane yields; (3) pure methane was not a commercially viable feedstock, due to the substantial price difference between pure methane and natural gas; (4) the Intrexon financial statements for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 were false and could not be relied upon; (5) Intrexon had material weaknesses in its internal controls over financial reporting; (6) Since October 2018, Intrexon was under investigation by the SEC; and (7) that, Intrexon positive statements about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis, as a result of the foregoing.
Precigen Inc. f/k/a Intrexon Corporation
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