Securities Settlement Approved in Class Action Against Portola Pharmaceuticals

On Monday, Judge Vince Chhabria entered an order granting preliminary approval of the proposed settlement of a securities class action against Portola Pharmaceuticals in the Northern District of California. The proposed settlement amount is $17.5 million, and the class, which Judge Chhabria has preliminarily certified solely for the purpose of the proposed settlement, generally consists of people who bought Portola stock between January 8. 2019 and February 28, 2020.

The defendants are Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc., individual directors and officers of the company, and underwriters of the company’s securities. In settling, the defendants have denied wrongdoing, court documents state.

According to the notice, the suit contends that the defendants violated the law by allegedly misrepresenting or omitting information about Portola’s revenue recognition practices, as well as the market success of Andexxa, a drug made by Portola.

Class members will be bound to the settlement unless they opt out.  Plaintiffs’ counsel will apply for a fee of 25% off the settlement fund (or “approximately $4,375,000”) and expenses ”not to exceed $840,000.” After deduction of the fee and certain other expenses, the settlement fund plus accrued interest will be distributed to class members filing a proof of claim pursuant to a plan of allocation, court documents state.  

The motion to approve the settlement notes that there is a confidential “Supplemental Agreement” between the parties that “… would permit the Defendants to terminate the Settlement if the amount of Settlement Class Members who request exclusion from the Class exceed [sic] a certain amount.”

The Final Approval Hearing is scheduled for March 2, 2023.

Lead counsel for the plaintiffs is Berman Tabacco, while Portola and its directors and officers is represented by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind. Wharton & Garrison, LLP.