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Martin Shkreli resigns as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals amid fraud case

Martin Shkreli, who was gained notoriety for jacking up the price of a drug owned by his company, has resigned as chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals after he was charged with securities fraud.

The biopharmaceutical company said in a statement on Friday that founder Martin Shkreli had resigned from his position as chief executive officer, and added that board chairman Ron Tilles will serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is selected.

"We wish to thank Martin for helping us build Turing Pharmaceuticals into the dynamic research focused company it is today, and wish him the best in his future endeavors," said Tilles, who will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors. "At the same time, I am very excited about the opportunity to guide Turing Pharmaceuticals forward. We remain committed to ensuring that all patients have ready and affordable access to Daraprim and Vecamyl."

Turing Pharmaceuticals and Shkreli, a former hedge fun manager, faced a barrage of criticism in September when the company acquired Daraprim, a decades-old drug that is the preferred drug to treat toxoplasmosis, a life-threatening parasitic infection. After acquiring the drug, Turing immediately raised the drug's price from $13.50 a tablet to $750 a tablet.

Although Turing said it would provide the drug for free to qualified uninsured patients with incomes below 500 percent of the federal poverty level, the company has refused to lower the drug's price, except for a 50 percent price cut for hospitals. It is unclear if the company will take a different approach under the interim leadership of Tilles.

Shkreli was arrested by the FBI on Thursday morning after being charged with securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy, and wire fraud conspiracy for allegedly orchestrating three interrelated schemes. The allegations center on schemes to defraud investors of hedge funds MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare as well a scheme to misappropriate funds of biopharmaceutical company Rosenman, where Shkreli previously served as chief executive.

If convicted, Shkreli would face a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.

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