Tokai considers sale, reverse merger after PhIII failure; shares jump

With a sense of inevitability, microcap Tokai ($TKAI), besieged by weak trial results and a slew of axed staffers in its wake, is considering all options as its future hangs in the balance.

In a brief update published this morning, Tokai said its board was looking at “strategic alternatives” to dig itself out of a deepening hole, alternatives that could include "a sale of the company, a reverse merger, a business combination or a sale, license or other disposition of corporate assets.”

“There is no set timetable for this process and there can be no assurance that this process will result in any such transaction,” the company added.

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This comes after an awful few months for the biotech that saw it post data in July showing its lead oncology med galeterone was not likely to best Astellas/Medivation/Pfizer’s prostate cancer drug Xtandi (enzalutamide) in the Phase III ARMOR3-SV trial.

A week later, Tokai swung the ax to around 60% of its workforce, leaving it with just 10 full-time staffers as it looked to save money.

Then in August, the biotech announced that it would not enroll more patients into its ARMOR2 expansion trial of galeterone in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer patients who have become resistant to Xtandi, further hitting its share price.  

In this morning's update, Tokai said it was “continuing to assess the best path forward for its galeterone clinical trial program,” but added that it expects all patients enrolled in the ARMOR3-SV clinical trial “will discontinue treatment by the end of the year.”

The Boston, MA-based biotech, which has been hovering just above the dreaded penny-stock territory, saw its shares bounce nearly 19% in premarket trading on the news to $1.22, but with a market cap of just $22 million. 

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