NeuroMetrix placed on Nasdaq probation

Even as NeuroMetrix ($NURO) has pushed to advance development of its Sensus pain therapy device and grow its neurodiagnostics business, the company's stock has plunged, driving a single share down to pennies. And now the Waltham, MA, company is on probation with Nasdaq.

NeuroMetrix's stock price once hit the stratosphere. Even with the 2007-2008 economic crash, the price hovered in the high single digits as early as 2010. But that number has dropped to 60-cent range in recent months, so the Nasdaq Capital Market is giving NeuroMetrix 6 months (until March 18, 2013) to goose the price up to the $1 minimum, the company has disclosed. It's even a grace period, highlighting the stock's long-term decline.

NeuroMetrix launched initially in 1996, with the technology pedigree of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School behind it. But profit is so far elusive. The company booked $10.4 million in revenue in fiscal 2011 but lost $10 million. And in the first 6 months of fiscal 2012, NeuroMetrix generated nearly $4.3 million in revenue, down from close to $5.5 million over the same period in 2011. (Losses dropped a bit, however, to about $5.1 million.)

Such a low stock price just makes it that much harder to raise money, among other obstacles. So what's a company to do? Plow ahead with market expansion for its diagnostics and development of new products. In April, NeuroMetrix filed a long-awaited 510(k) applications with the FDA for its Sensus electrical nerve therapy device to treat pain. The company said in July that it expects to gain market approval by the end of this year. NeuroMetrix also raised over $8.5 million in a public offering a number of months ago, and reported just under $10.3 million in cash and equivalents on hand as of Dec. 31, 2011.

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