Athersys woes continue as Aspire Capital focuses relationship with biotech – Endpoints News

While Athersys has been in the twilight zone of the penny stock since 2021, the company has experienced several major speed bumps over the past few months and this latest news is another blow to biotech.

On Friday, the Cleveland-based biotech announced that its stock purchase agreement with Aspire Capital Fund had been terminated.

According to the company, there were several discussions with Aspire Capital before the biotech received notice on Wednesday to immediately terminate the deal, which had been in place since May 12.

Athersys said it would continue to evaluate alternative financing options to support its ongoing operations and CEO Dan Camardo said in a statement that more succinct details would be provided at its shareholder meeting later this month. .

“As we execute our transformation plan, which includes reducing expenses in several areas, we will continue to explore financing options that we believe are in the best interests of our shareholders,” Camardo said in a statement. .

The company is currently looking for a permanent chief financial officer, but for now Camardo will act as senior chief financial officer and chief accounting officer. Camardo will not receive any additional compensation or benefits in connection with this appointment.

According to the stock purchase agreement filed with the SEC, Aspire Capital initially offered up to $100 million of an aggregate amount of shares of its common stock at a value of $0.001 per share to Aspire Capital in connection with a common stock purchase agreement. The agreement would allow the shares to be sold from time to time to Aspire Capital during the term of the purchase agreement, which would expire in 2024.

However, it is a blow for the company. As outlined in its Form 10-K in March, the company will need more funding to advance its product candidates through development and commercialization as well as for other activities.

But financing is not the only problem faced by the company. In May, the company’s leading stem cell therapy product failed again. In a 206-person trial in Japan, Athersys stem cell therapy for stroke failed to meet its primary endpoint of “excellent outcome,” a combined measure of three stroke recovery scores.

In May, the company prepared a post-hoc analysis, selecting a subset of younger patients to show where their treatment had an effect. The results only approached but did not reach statistical significance.

In 2015, Athersys’ treatment for stroke recovery failed a Phase II study, but continues to move forward with a Phase III trial for approval in the United States which is expected to complete in 2015. next year.

In early June, the company laid off 70% of its workforce with the departure of two executives, to save money.

However, those moves certainly haven’t helped the company’s investors, as its $ATHX stock price is well within the penny stock range at under $0.30 and has fallen 75% since January.

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