Amid dwindling cash and a Nasdaq warning, MabVax seeks ‘strategic options’

This comes as it overspent on a clinical trial

San Diego cancer biotech MabVax Therapeutics is hiring an investment bank to help it find a buyer or sell off its assets as it continues to struggle for cash.

The antibody biotech, worth just 51 cents a share this morning, has also been hit with a Nasdaq listing warning saying that it isn’t trading at the minimum level to remain on the exchange. It has until the end of September to regain compliance.

MabVax said it has hired a “leading global independent investment bank” as a financial advisor to help it seek out “strategic options,” including a buyout by another company, the sale or divestiture of specific assets, merging with another company, licensing of selected tech or “a combination of selected divestitures followed by a reverse merger.” Essentially, everything is on the table.

There’s no timeline, nor any confirmation that any of the above will happen. And you won’t hear anything else about it until a decision is made, the biotech added in a statement.

MabVax did have a small bright spot in its update, which it decided to lead with, and that was the selling off of $1.3 million of shares, with an extra $1 million also in the offing, although this has done little to help its tough financial situation.

The “decline in the stockholders’ equity,” the biotech explained, was largely a result of “planned expenditures” related to phase tests of its antibody MVT-5873, and the PET diagnostic imaging product MVT-2163.

It said that, while the two earlier Phase 1 trials “were completed on time and within budget,” the clinical expenses “exceeded the capital that was raised to perform the studies.”

David Hansen, MabVax’s president and CEO, said, “We have been taking deliberate steps to identify ways to secure the necessary capital to fund the company in order to advance our pipeline. While very challenging, we believe our financing strategy, along with the opportunity to work with an investment bank that specializes in strategic transactions, may provide the potential for the catalytic impact needed at this important time in the evolution of MabVax.

“We remain fully committed to advancing our lead product candidate, MVT-1075, a fully human antibody radioimmunotherapy (‘RIT’) program in phase 1 development for the treatment of CA19-9 positive malignancies including pancreatic, colon and lung cancers, from which we expect to report interim data by the end of this year. Moving forward, securing additional financing will enable us to further leverage our fully human antibody platform and prioritize our pipeline with the goal of addressing significant unmet medical needs for the treatment of cancer.”