By decision of 12 September 2022, the District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a lawsuit filed by a number of AstraZeneca shareholders alleging that the pharmaceutical company misled investors about the progress of clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine.

More precisely, plaintiffs alleged that AstraZeneca's statements throughout the trial period were misleading because it failed to disclose that some phases of such clinical trials had been hamstrung by widespread flaws and errors as a result of which the vaccine was unlikely to be approved for commercial use in the United States in the short term. The alleged failures on the part of AstraZeneca included giving some participants half the designed dosages, not testing enough people over age 55, and allowing subtle differences among patient subgroups that undermined the validity of any findings. The Federal Court held that AstraZeneca had no "generalized duty" to disclose "negative facts" about the trials and that the statements that Plaintiffs had identified as misleading were at such a high level of generality, and the alleged omitted facts so granular, that the suit had to be dismissed without prejudice.

Reference: In re AstraZeneca Plc Securities Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 21-00722.

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