Cash squeeze triggers going-concern alert at Molecular Insight

A troubled Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals (MIPI) needs to raise more cash to avoid breaching the minimum liquidity requirements tied to senior debt at the company, and that cash squeeze helped prompt its auditors to raise a going-concern warning for the second half of the year.

Auditors for the biotech are also concerned by recurring losses at the company, despite the smaller-than-expect quarterly loss reported yesterday evening. Investors in the company responded by driving down its stock price by about 25 percent in after-market trading.

Molecular Insight reported a $13.2 million loss for the fourth quarter and reported that it had about $64 million in cash and equivalents on hand at the end of 2009. On Monday the company reported that NASDAQ officials had notified them that they were in violation of its minimum market value requirement. And at the beginning of the year the developer said it cut nine employees to help reduce costs. Molecular Insight has two Phase III oncology trials slated to begin this year.

Molecular Insight says that it already out-licensed one program, Onalta, and has plans to out-license Zemiva, a late-stage radiopharmaceutical for the diagnosis of myocardial ischemia.

- check out Molecular Insight's release
- and here's the Reuters story