The Bothell, Wash.–based clinical-stage biopharma Athira Pharma (NSDQ:ATHA) is in a tailspin after the company’s board put Leen Kawas, the firm’s CEO, on temporary leave.
The company’s stock closed the day at an all-time low of $11.15. The stock was valued as high as $34.25 on Dec. 31, 2020.
Washington State University has launched an independent review of Kawas’s doctoral research in molecular pharmacology and toxicology, which she completed a decade ago.
The university is investigating reports that Kawas authored several papers with altered images.
Several papers Kawas had co-authored now appear on PubPeer, which cites possible problems with published research. PubPeer authors have pointed out that specific images in those papers appear to have duplicated portions and other irregularities. Some of the anomalies could have led to incorrect research findings or at least the interpretability of those findings.
In the interim, the company has…