RALEIGH – RedHill Biopharma, which operates its US headquarters in Raleigh, has asked the SEC to review trading of its stock, including “potential naked short selling” of its shares.

RedHill trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol RDHL.

The company announced the request early Tuesday.

“Naked shorting is the illegal practice of short selling shares that have not been affirmatively determined to exist. Ordinarily, traders must borrow a stock, or determine that it can be borrowed before they sell it short,” according to financial news site Investopedia.

The company said it has “engaged with a leading securities law expert and a forensic investigation firm specializing in trading irregularities and market integrity analysis. The resulting analysis identified trading patterns indicating potentially illegal conduct which warrant scrutiny by the regulatory authorities.”

RedHill is actively involved in COVID-19 treatment research.

Shares closed at $7.12 on Monday but declined to $7 in premarket trading Tuesday. They have traded as high as $8.60 and as low as $3.51 so far this year.