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VOL. 124 | NO. 66 | Monday, April 6, 2009

Former GTx Employee Sues Over Stock Option

By Tom Wilemon

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While executives at Memphis-based GTx Inc. continue to exercise stock options in advance of the possible release of new drug therapies, a former employee of the pharmaceutical company is suing in federal court for her right to cash in any windfalls.

Linda Bird of Arkansas, a former employee who is now disabled, is seeking a court order for the company to reinstate her benefits, including stock options. She alleges that the company and Union Security Insurance Co. stopped making long-term disability payments “without lawful reason.” She also contends in the court papers that GTx refuses to grant her stock options for which she is entitled.

Luther Oneal Sutter filed an amended complaint in Memphis federal court on Bird’s behalf Wednesday.

The stock of GTx, which sold at a year-high of $20 a share in September before the credit crisis, was trading at just more than $10 a share Friday.

Several executives and directors of the company have exercised stock options in recent months and continue to buy shares. On Wednesday, Joseph R. “Pitt” Hyde III, the chairman of the board of directors, acquired 850 shares. He now owns more than 7.6 million shares in the company, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Four other members of the board – John Hofmann Pontius, Timothy Sear, Dr. Kenneth Robinson and Dr. Michael Carter – acquired the same number of shares on the same date. Members of the company’s management team have exercised stock options in earlier filings with the SEC.

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