MabVax Therapeutics, a tiny public biotech in San Diego, has waved a white flag August 22 following poor performance on the public market.
The company, whose stock has fallen more than 90 percent over the past 12 months, announced that it has hired a financial advisor to “explore strategic alternatives” to maximize shareholder value. In short, the company said it was open to MabVax being acquired by another company, merged into another company, conducting a reverse merger, or selling off its assets.
MabVax is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of antibody-based products to address unmet medical needs in the treatment of cancer.
The company is in a sticky financial situation, as it might get booted from the Nasdaq Capital Market. The company got a notice on August 15 from Nasdaq stating that MabVax does not meet the market value or net income requirements to be listed. The company has 45 days to submit a plan to regain compliance with the rule.
MabVax will have some money to work with going forward, as it also announced the company had raised $1.3 million in an offering of stock. An additional $1 million has been committed by the company’s lead investor, contingent on the approval of a series of proposals scheduled for September.
With a market cap of only $5.4 million, MabVax is one of the smallest public biotechs in San Diego. The only company smaller is Neothetics Inc., a biotech that made a similar white flag announcement in July when the company announced it was seeking a buyer, partner, or candidate for a merger.
Thinly-traded nano-caps like MabVax and Neothics are sort of a thing in San Diego. Of the county’s 34 public biotechs, 12 have market caps below $50 million.