Sharpless Makes Short List for Next FDA Director Despite Conflicts of Interest

Concerns about Sharpless’ Fitness for Office Loom Over His Candidacy

WASHINGTON — Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Ned Sharpless, is reportedly in the final running to become FDA Commissioner. Sharpless is one of three candidates being evaluated for the position, despite his failures to address concerns around conflicts of interest. While serving as Acting FDA Commissioner, the company Sharpless helped found (and once held millions in stock) has seen their lead drug rapidly accelerate toward approval – twice – thanks to positive feedback from the FDA. 

“Let’s address the elephant in the room when it comes to Ned Sharpless’ ability to serve the public as the head of the FDA,” said Lizzy Price, Director of Restore Public Trust. “Sharpless may have helped bump the stock prices of the company he co-founded by expediting the FDA drug approval process. Americans deserve answers to the questions Sharpless has chosen to ignore, regarding his involvement in his former company’s skyrocketing success. Has Sharpless used his taxpayer-funded position to deepen his friends’ and his own pockets? To what extent did he play a role in the FDA’s final decision to green-light his former company’s drugs? 

“The head of the FDA should serve the interests of the American people, not help out their pharmaceutical friends. Until Sharpless answers for potential conflicts of interest, he should not be considered for the FDA Commissioner nomination.”

Sharpless co-founded G1 Therapeutics, a company that develops cancer drugs, and he owned at least $6 million in assets tied up in the company. In August, following the news the same G1 Therapeutics’ drug was fast-tracked a second time through the federal approvals process, Restore Public Trust filed suit in federal court to force disclosure of documents regarding Sharpless’ contract with G1 Therapeutics. 

In total, in the five months after Sharpless was named to his post, G1 Therapeutics stock has gone up 60%:

  • March 12, 2019: G1 Therapeutics Stock Closed At $16.70 Per Share. [Yahoo Finance]
  • May 10, 2019: G1 Therapeutics Stock Closed At $25.02 Per Share. [Yahoo Finance]
  • August 8, 2019: G1 Therapeutics Stock Closed At $29.76 Per Share. [Yahoo Finance]

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