The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday charged a former Pfizer employee and his friend for trading on insider information regarding the success of the company’s trial for Paxlovid, its Covid antiviral drug. The US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York also charged Amit Dagar, the former Pfizer employee, and his friend Atul Bhiwapurkar, in a separate case. “The charges in this case relate to the personal conduct of a former Pfizer employee in violation of the company’s policies. Pfizer is cooperating with the government’s investigation,” Pfizer told CNN in a statement. The SEC accuses Dagar, who was a senior statistical program lead for the Paxlovid drug trial, of purchasing short-term Pfizer options in November several hours after learning from his supervisor that “we got the outcome” on the trial, before the news had been made public. Dagar then told Bhiwapurkar, who purchased similar call options, the SEC alleges. Shares of Pfizer rose nearly 11% on November 5, 2021, the day the company announced the results of the Paxlovid trial. Dagar and Bhiwapurkar, along with another individual Bhiwapurkar tipped off later, sold their options and generated more than $350,000 in profits, the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York said in a press release. Dagar and Bhiwapurkar were arrested Thursday morning. Dagar, 44, of Hillsborough, New Jersey, has been charged with four counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, which carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 and 5 years, respectively. Bhiwapurkar, 45, of Milpitas, California, has been charged with two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.