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Facing Nasdaq Delisting, Valentis Devises a Plan

NEW YORK, Nov. 13 - Eleven weeks since the Nasdaq told Valentis it was planning to delist its stock because it failed to maintain a certain market capitalization, Valentis disclosed plans is says will keep its shares listed.

 

Valentis today said it has convinced holders of Series A preferred stock to convert their shares into common stock, a move that will allow the company to book the value of the stock as equity rather than debt.

 

Valentis said this will help the company's market cap reach the Nasdaq's minimum of $50 million. Its current market cap is around $9.2 million, according to Market Guide.

 

The firm also said it intends to initiate a reverse stock split in an attempt to hike its share price above $1, it said. The stock closed at $.25 yesterday afternoon.

 

Valentis has until Jan. 15 to obtain shareholder approval. The company will stay listed in the meantime.

 

The company had formally kicked off the restructuring plan in early October when it announced it would lay off 45 employees and focus more on drug discovery.

As GenomeWeb reported last month, Valentis said the majority of the layoffs--which are targeted across the company and include executives, scientific staff, and administrative support--were effective immediately and would reduce the company's total staff to 20 people.

 

There were no plans for further layoffs, according to Joe Markey, senior director of finance at Valentis.

Valentis said it plans to save about $7 million per year, which can help it develop its Del-1 gene medicine for peripheral arterial disease and ischemic heart disease and EpoSwitch, its lead GeneSwitch product for chronic anemia.

 

"We now have to focus down on [these] programs with the remaining people and dollars," Markey said in October.

 

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