SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - With warrant in hand and guns drawn, the FBI raided a Sorrento Valley pharmaceutical company Thursday morning. The agency is calling this a white-collar crime investigation, which includes accusations of mishandling government funds.
A raid at NexBio, located at 10665 Sorrento Valley Road, was conducted around 8 a.m. Thursday by representatives from the FBI and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General.
"The FBI came in. Some had guns drawn, but they were friendly. They said they had a search warrant and asked them to leave," said Linda Cruikshank who works at an office in the business park.
Vincent Gordon, the CEO of Procuro which is a nearby business, said he approached officers to find out what was going on and they told him: "Please stay in your position, back up, go back where you came from." They added, "there's not need for you to get involved."
So far, no arrests have been made and the case has been sealed preventing any details from being revealed," according to FBI spokesman Darrell Foxworth.
Foxworth also said that managers and staff at NexBio were completely cooperative with FBI agents during Thursday's raid.
Gordon told News 8 questions are swirling about what's happening, no one knows what's going on and employees were sent home.
"The fact of the matter is, there are 30 employees up there that may not have a job tomorrow," he continued.
Former employees say they have been contacted by authorities and the questions they were asked indicate that agents may be investigating a misappropriation of funds from federal grants.
NexBio is based in San Diego and has been in operation since 2003. According to the NexBio website, the company focuses on developing drugs to prevent and treat seasonal influenza and pandemic influenza. Currently, their primary product is Fludase® which is in clinical development.