Sirtex CEO goes on leave while his share trading is investigated

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Biotech company Sirtex Medical Ltd is investigating the share trading of its CEO, Gilman Wong.

The board has engaged legal firm Watson Mangioni to coordinate an investigation into the trading of shares in Sirtex in October by Wong.

A short time ago, the company’s shares were down more than 4% to $14.90, having hit a high of $35 in August.

The results of that investigation, launched after shareholder and other enquiries, are expected to be available in January.

Wong denies any wrongdoing but volunteered to take leave until after the investigation.

“The Sirtex board wishes to emphasise that its decision to commission this investigation has been made solely for the purpose of ensuring that the concerns raised with the Company are appropriately investigated, and in no way implies any wrongdoing on the part of Mr Wong,” the company said in a statement to the ASX.

Wong in October sold more than $2 million of his shares in the company.

Sirtex is an Australian-based global healthcare business with a targeted radiation therapy for liver cancer.

In a market update earlier this month, Sirtex shares fell hard after a downgrade in forecasts. The company said first half sales growth were expected to grow between 4% and 6% compared to 15.7% in the same period last year.

And EBITDA is expected to be in the range of $30 million to $32 million, a decline of up to 16%.

In August the company reported a 69% rise in full year profit to $40.3 million. Sales increased 36.1% to $176.1 million.

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