CellCyte, a Bothell-based biotechnology company, said Thursday the Securities and Exchange Commission has upgraded its probe of the company to a formal investigation.

Share story

The Securities and Exchange Commission has upgraded its probe of Bothell-based CellCyte to a formal investigation, the biotechnology company said Thursday.

In a quarterly regulatory filing, the company said it learned this week that the informal inquiry the SEC had begun in January had become a formal investigation. The original inquiry was related to unspecified material in CellCyte’s filings, and the company said it believes the investigation will focus on the same issues.

CellCyte said it “intends to fully cooperate with the SEC” and “is commmitted to resolving the issues raised in connection with the investigation.”

CellCyte shares traded as high as $10 last year after a wave of promotional materials paid for by a major company shareholder who has been sanctioned by regulatory authorities in Canada.

Shares plummeted in January amid a Seattle Times inquiry into discrepancies in Chief Executive Gary Reys’ resume, including statements posted on the company’s website and filed with the SEC.

The sharp fall in the stock triggered three shareholder lawsuits. The company said in its quarterly filing that it is “disputing the basis for all three lawsuits and intend to vigorously defend against them.”

CellCyte shares closed at 52 cents on Thursday,

Ángel González: 206-515-5644 or agonzalez@seattletimes.com