Internet Wire falls victim to PR prank

LOS ANGELES: Internet Wire (IW) experienced deja vu on June 10 when it unwittingly issued a phony press release about Cel-Sci, a Virginia-based drug company.

LOS ANGELES: Internet Wire (IW) experienced deja vu on June 10 when it unwittingly issued a phony press release about Cel-Sci, a Virginia-based drug company.

This was reminiscent of a 2000 incident in which an ex-Emulex employee sent out a false release on IW about his former company. IW CEO Jim McGovern admitted the similarities, but said, "It is inevitable that parallels are going to be drawn, but this incident is different. It was a much more sophisticated attack than the one in 2000."

This release announced a partnership between Cel-Sci and Japan's Takeda Chemical Industries to develop Multikline, a cancer therapy drug. The release, which stated that the collaboration would provide Cel-Sci with $520 million, caused the company's stock to rise to dollars .37 on the day it was issued, up from dollars .29. IW issued a retraction after learning that the bogus release had been sent.

While IW's services are lower in price than its main competitors, McGovern claimed that the incident was not a reflection on the quality of the IW's offering. "We're the industry's value leader, and we pride ourselves on that. In fact, because of what happened in 2000 with Emulex, we have a stronger security and authentication environment than anyone in the industry."

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