A former employee of Takeda Pharmaceutical has been charged with insider trading by US regulatory authorities after making more than $63,000 in illegal profits, based on inside information surrounding the company’s 2008 acquisition of Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

In a complaint filed in the federal court in New York, US, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said US-based Brent Bankosky used information to trade in his personal account, purchasing call options in securities of biotechnology company Cell Genesys, a Takeda partner, and Millennium.

The strategic partnership between Cell Genesys and Takeda was announced after the market closed on 31 March 2008, and from an initial investment of $37,000, Bankosky made profits totalling in excess of $63,000.

The SEC said Bankosky also purchased call options in the securities of Arena Pharmaceutical and AMAG Pharmaceutical following confidential discussions between them and Takeda in 2009 and 2010 respectively, although he did not profit from these investments.

Prior to his resignation from Takeda in May 2011, Bankosky held the positions of director of Takeda’s global licensing and business development unit, based in Deerfield, Illinois, before becoming a senior director in September 2010.

Bankosky has partially settled the claims without admitting or denying the allegations, agreeing to pay more than $130,000 in disgorgement and penalties but will contest an SEC-imposed ban on holding a company officer or director position, said Robert Heim, Bankosky’s lawyer.

Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals was not a defendant in the case.