Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP: Investor Class Action Filed Against Athira Pharma, Inc. - ATHA for Securities Fraud Violations

Notice is hereby given that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of those who purchased or acquired Athira Pharma, Inc. (“Athira”) (NASDAQ: ATHA) common stock: (a) pursuant and/or traceable to the registration statement and prospectus (collectively, the “Registration Statement”) issued in connection with Athira’s September 2020 initial public offering (“IPO”); and/or (b) between September 18, 2020 and June 17, 2021, inclusive (the “Class Period”).

Athira investors may receive additional information about the case by clicking the link "Submit Your Information" above.  If you are a member of the class described above, you may no later than August 24, 2021 move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff of the class, if you so choose.

Athira is a late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company that focuses on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and stop neurodegeneration.  On September 18, 2020, Athira filed its prospectus on a Form 424B4, which forms part of the Registration Statement. In the IPO, Athira sold approximately 13,397,712 shares of common stock at a price of $17.00 per share. Athira received proceeds of approximately $208.5 million from the IPO, net of underwriting discounts and commissions. 

According to the complaints, on June 17, 2021, after the market closed, Athira announced in a press release that it had placed its president and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Leen Kawas, on leave pending a review of actions stemming from doctoral research she conducted while at Washington State University (“WSU”). According to Athira’s press release, Athira’s Board “formed an independent special committee to undertake this review.”

The same day, the scientific publication STAT published an article stating that WSU was investigating claims that Dr. Kawas “published several papers containing altered images while she was a graduate student.” These papers “are foundational to Athira’s efforts to treat Alzheimer’s” because they “established that a particular molecule affects the activity of HGF.” Though Athira is developing a different molecule than the one Dr. Kawas examined in the papers at issue, her “doctoral work laid the biological groundwork that Athira continues to use in their approach to treating Alzheimer’s.”  Specifically, “[i]mages of Western blots, used to determine the presence of specific proteins in biological samples, look as though they’ve been altered from their original state.” According to experts cited in the article, “If the Western blots are inaccurate, then the whole study must be redone.”  

Following this news, Athira’s share price fell $7.09, or approximately 39%, to close at $11.15 per share on June 18, 2021.  

The complaints allege that in the Registration Statement and/or throughout the Class Period the defendants made materially false and misleading statements and omitted to state that: (1) Dr. Kawas had published research papers containing improperly altered images while she was a graduate student; (2) this purported research was foundational to Athira’s efforts to develop treatments for Alzheimer’s because it laid the biological groundwork that Athira was using in its approach to treating Alzheimer’s; (3) as a result, Athira’s intellectual property and product development for the treatment of Alzheimer’s was based on invalid research; and (4) as a result of the foregoing, the defendants’ positive statements about Athira’s business, operations, and prospects, were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member’s claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. Filling out the online form above or communicating with any counsel is not necessary to participate or share in any recovery achieved in this case.  Any member of the purported class may move the court to serve as a lead plaintiff through counsel of his/her choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an inactive class member.

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP:  James Maro, Esq. (484) 270-1453; or toll-free at (844) 887-9500; or via e-mail at  If you would like additional information about the suit, please click on the link "Submit Your Information" above and fill out the form as promptly as possible.

Please complete this form relating to your transactions for Athira Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHA) common stock: (a) pursuant and/or traceable to the registration statement and prospectus (collectively, the “Registration Statement”) issued in connection with Athira’s September 2020 initial public offering (“IPO”); and/or (b) between September 18, 2020 and June 17, 2021, inclusive (the “Class Period”).

You may also contact James Maro, Esq. (484) 270-1453; or toll free at (844) 887-9500; or you may submit your information via email at; or you may click here to print a PDF of this form.

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# of Shares
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Did you purchase shares of Athira Pharma, Inc. - ATHA prior to the Class Period?
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The submission of this form does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor an obligation on the part of Kessler Topaz or you to file a lead plaintiff motion in this matter. Any information you submit will be maintained as confidential. If Kessler Topaz, in its sole discretion, believes that you might be an appropriate lead plaintiff candidate, Kessler Topaz will contact you to discuss the matter and whether to establish an attorney client relationship. By signing this form you are authorizing us to contact you regarding this case and/or future cases.
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