Feds charge Bristol-Myers exec with insider trading

A Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) executive may just be the man who knew too much about the company's M&A plans. Robert Ramnarine, the drugmaker's assistant director for capital markets, was charged with insider trading today, after allegedly profiting off stock options in three of Bristol-Myers' acquisition targets.

Ramnarine bought options in ZymoGenetics, Pharmasset and Amylin Pharmaceuticals ($AMLN), the FBI said, and made $311,361 in profits. Bristol-Myers bought ZymoGenetics in 2010 and Amylin in June; it pulled out of Pharmasset buyout talks late last year, Bloomberg reports.

Ramnarine knew about the prospective deals because he was responsible for doing due diligence on the companies' pension and savings plans, Bloomberg says.

Bristol-Myers' deals aren't the only ones federal investigators are looking into. For some time, the feds have been probing possible insider dealing related to big pharma mergers, including Merck's ($MRK) Schering-Plough deal and Pfizer's ($PFE) Wyeth buyout. The FBI and federal prosecutors have also been eyeing stock trades around important drug approval announcements. And earlier his year, the Securities and Exchange Commission went after a Takeda Pharmaceuticals business-development executive for insider trading.

- read the Bloomberg news