GenVec, encamped in penny-stock territory, risks Nasdaq delisting

Struggling microcap GenVec has again been warned that it will be taken off the lucrative and respected Nasdaq exchange if it doesn’t get itself out of the dreaded penny-stock territory.

The gene medicine company’s shares were down by around 3% at end of play yesterday at 63 cents. Its market cap was just $14 million.

In a SEC 8-K filed this week, the biotech said Nasdaq officials had given it another 180 days, or until February 21, 2017, to “regain compliance with the minimum $1.00 per share bid price requirement.”

This is the second time it has been hit with this warning, having had the same letter back in February. This initial 180-day period ended this week, but the Nasdaq has given it until next February to get its shares up.

Gaithersburg, MD-based GenVec ($GNVC) has not had the rosiest of times. Back in 2012, its lead program, a gene therapy for pancreatic cancer, failed to deliver in the clinic, as it desperately looked for a buyer.

This didn’t happen, and the then new CEO Cynthia Collin stepped in and took the ax to around a third of its workforce to keep costs down. A year later she left as the company struggled to remain solvent, with Douglas Swirsky, the company’s former CFO, stepping in as its new chief with a new direction.

Things have been looking up in more recent months when back in July the FDA lifted the clinical hold on a Phase I/II trial, developed in collaboration with Novartis, of CGF166 in patients with severe to profound hearing loss.

This drug was created via the biotech’s AdenoVerse technology platform that is deisgned to use genes to treat or stop certain diseases. But its history of poor results in the lab and financial struggles have not endeared investors.

Things looked more promising back in early 2010 when GenVec inked a $213 development million pact with Novartis.

GenVec’s development programs has seen it working on new vaccines against infectious diseases like respiratory syncytial virus, herpes simplex virus, dengue fever, malaria, and HIV, as well as an animal program for a vaccine against foot-and-mouth disease.

- check out the SEC 8-K form

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