Nature Biotechnology 27, 10 (2009)

Public life cut short

Victor Bethencourt

Bioheart, the single biotech to go public this year in North America, faces delisting eight months after going public. The Sunrise, Florida–based company is expected to appeal the NASDAQ staff determination notice received on November 17, threatening to suspend trading and remove the company's securities. “There has been a sharp increase in delistings as most companies fail to find a healthy financing window,” says Cowen and Company senior research analyst Phil Nadeau. Bioheart's troubles surfaced in October, when the company received a delisting notice for falling below NASDAQ's $35 million market capitalization minimum. The company filed for IPO last February and expected to raise $35–47 million, but instead brought in $5.8 million at $5.25 per share after lowering its initial public offering price range from the original $14–16. The company, which is burning through about $4 million per quarter and has $3 million in total assets, is in need of cash. Like other public biotech firms in this economic downturn, it might be forced to look outside the public markets. “In the current risk-averse environment, nonprofitable small and micro-cap biotechs will be adopting alternative financing vehicles more common in other sectors, such as venture debt or selling royalty streams,” says Nadeau. Bioheart's product portfolio includes Myocell, the autologous stem cell therapy for heart failure patients in phase 2/3.


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