NEW YORK, Feb. 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized shareholder rights law firm, reminds investors that class actions have been commenced on behalf of stockholders of AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ: AZN) and iRhythm Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: IRTC). Stockholders have until the deadlines below to petition the court to serve as lead plaintiff. Additional information about each case can be found at the link provided.

AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ: AZN)

Class Period: May 21, 2020 to November 20, 2020

Lead Plaintiff Deadline: March 29, 2021

AstraZeneca is one of the largest biopharmaceutical companies in the world and was one of the early front-runners in the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. In April 2020, the Company partnered with Oxford University to develop a potential recombinant adenovirus vaccine for the virus, later dubbed AZD1222.

On November 23, 2020, AstraZeneca issued a release announcing the results of an interim analysis of its ongoing trial for AZD1222. The announcement immediately began to raise questions among analysts and industry experts. AstraZeneca disclosed that the interim analysis involved two smaller scale trials in disparate locales (the United Kingdom and Brazil) that, for unexplained reasons, employed two different dosing regimens. One clinical trial provided patients a half dose of AZD1222 followed by a full dose, while the other trial provided two full doses. Counterintuitively, AstraZeneca claimed that the half dosing regimen was substantially more effective at preventing COVID-19 at 90% efficacy than the full dosing regimen, which had achieved just 62% efficacy.

In the days that followed, additional revelations were made regarding problems with AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 clinical trials. For example, the differing dosing regimens were revealed to be due to a manufacturing error rather than trial design. Also, the half-strength dose had not been tested in people over the age of 55 – despite the fact that this population was the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Moreover, certain trial participants received their second dose later than originally planned. U.S. regulators stated that if AstraZeneca could not clearly explain the discrepancies in its trial results, the results would most likely not be sufficient for approval for commercial sale in the United States.

As negative news reports continued to reveal previously undisclosed problems and flaws in AstraZeneca’s clinical trials for AZD1222, the price of AstraZeneca ADSs fell to $52.60 by market close on November 25, 2020, a 5% decline over three trading days in response to adverse news.

The complaint, filed on July 26, 2021, alleges that defendants misrepresented facts regarding the Company’s ongoing AZD1222 clinical trials and concealed problems that had arisen in the trials, including a dosing error which had been discovered early on by the Company but not disclosed to investors.

For more information on the AstraZeneca class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/AZN

iRhythm Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: IRTC)

Class Period: August 4, 2020 to January 28, 2021

Lead Plaintiff Deadline: April 2, 2021

iRhythm offers a portfolio of ambulatory cardiac monitoring services on its platform, called the Zio service. iRhythm receives revenue for its Zio service primarily from third-party payors, which include commercial payors and government agencies, such as the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”). Reimbursement from the CMS and other third-party payors is therefore critical to the Company’s business.

On January 29, 2021, Medicare Administrative Contractor Novitas Solutions published actual reimbursement rates under the CMS’ 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. A Baird analyst commented that these rates were “way lower than” the former codes, citing one example where iRhythm was previously reimbursed around $311, but was now receiving just $42.68.

On this news, the price of iRhythm common stock closed at $168.42, down approximately 33% from its January 28, 2021 close of $251.00. The 33% drop represents a one-day loss in market capitalization of approximately $2.4 billion.

The complaint, filed on February 1, 2021, alleges that throughout the Class Period and in violation of the Exchange Act, defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts to investors. Specifically, defendants misrepresented and/or failed to disclose to investors that: (1) iRhythm’s business would suffer as a result of the CMS’ rulemaking; (2) reimbursement rates would in fact plummet; (3) a lack of national pricing in the CMS rule and fee schedule would cause uncertainty and weakness in the Company’s business; and (4) as a result of the foregoing, defendants’ public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

For more information on the iRhythm class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/IRTC

About Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.:
Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. is a nationally recognized law firm with offices in New York, California, and South Carolina. The firm represents individual and institutional investors in commercial, securities, derivative, and other complex litigation in state and federal courts across the country. For more information about the firm, please visit www.bespc.com. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes.

Contact Information:
Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.
Brandon Walker, Esq.
Melissa Fortunato, Esq.
Marion Passmore, Esq.
(212) 355-4648
investigations@bespc.com
www.bespc.com