Organization, Plan of Business Operations
|6 Months Ended|
Jun. 30, 2022
|Organization, Plan of Business Operations|
|Organization, Plan of Business Operations||
Note 1 - Organization, Plan of Business Operations
Avenue Therapeutics, Inc. (the “Company” or “Avenue”) was incorporated in Delaware on February 9, 2015, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortress Biotech, Inc. (“Fortress”), to develop and market pharmaceutical products for the acute care setting in the United States. The Company is focused on developing its product candidate, an intravenous (“IV”) formulation of tramadol HCl (“IV Tramadol”), for post-operative acute pain, and, to the extent the transactions contemplated by the Contribution Agreement (as defined below) are contemplated, the development of Baergic.
On May 11, 2022, the Company entered into a stock contribution agreement (the “Contribution Agreement”) with Fortress, pursuant to which Fortress agreed to transfer ownership of 100% of its shares (common and preferred) in a private subsidiary company of Fortress, Baergic Bio, Inc. (“Baergic”), to the Company. Under the Contribution Agreement, Fortress also agreed to assign to Avenue certain intercompany agreements existing between Fortress and Baergic, including a Founders Agreement, by and between Fortress and Baergic, dated as of March 9, 2017, and Management Services Agreement, by and between Fortress and Baergic, dated as of March 9, 2017. Consummation of the transactions contemplated by the Contribution Agreement is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions precedent, including, inter alia: (i) the closing of an equity financing by the Company resulting in gross proceeds of at least $7.5 million, (ii) the agreement by minority Avenue shareholder InvaGen Pharmaceuticals Inc. (“InvaGen”) to (A) have 100% of its shares in the Company repurchased by the Company and (B) terminate certain of the agreements into which it entered with the Company and/or Fortress in connection with InvaGen’s 2019 equity investment in the Company, which would eliminate certain negative consent rights of InvaGen over the Company and restore certain rights and privileges of Fortress in the Company (all upon terms to be agreed upon with InvaGen); and (iii) the sustained listing of Avenue’s common stock on The Nasdaq Capital Market.
If consummated, the transaction is expected to expand Avenue’s development portfolio within neuroscience. Evaluation and negotiation of the Contribution Agreement was overseen, and execution of the Contribution Agreement was approved, by special committees at the Avenue and Fortress levels, both of which exclusively comprised independent and disinterested directors of the respective companies’ boards.
NASDAQ Deficiency Letter
On May 24, 2022, the Company received a deficiency letter (the “Nasdaq Letter”) from the Listing Qualifications Department of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”), notifying the Company that it is not in compliance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5550(b)(1), which requires the Company to maintain a minimum of $2,500,000 in stockholders’ equity for continued listing on The Nasdaq Capital Market (the “Stockholders’ Equity Requirement”), nor is it in compliance with either of the alternative listing standards, market value of listed securities of at least $35 million or net income of $500,000 from continuing operations in the most recently completed fiscal year, or in two of the three most recently completed fiscal years. The Company’s failure to comply with the Stockholders’ Equity Requirement was based on the Company’s filing of its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2022, reporting the stockholders’ equity of $1,159,000. Pursuant to the Nasdaq Letter, the Company has 45 calendar days from the date of the Nasdaq Letter to submit a plan to regain compliance. On July 8, 2022, the Company submitted a compliance plan (the “Compliance Plan”) to Nasdaq.
On August 9, 2022, the Company received written notice (the “Notice”) from Nasdaq, stating that Nasdaq has determined that the Company has not complied with the Nasdaq Listing Rule 5550(a)(2), which requires the Company to maintain a minimum bid price of its common stock be at least $1.00 per share (the “Minimum-Bid Price Requirement”), or the Stockholders’ Equity Requirement. The Notice indicated that the Company’s common stock would be suspended from trading on Nasdaq unless the Company requests a hearing before a Hearings Panel (the “Panel”) by August 16, 2022. The Company intends to timely request the aforementioned hearing with the Panel, which request will stay any trading suspension of the Company’s common stock until the completion of the Nasdaq hearing process and the expiration of any additional extension period granted by the Panel following the hearing.
Additionally, as previously disclosed on February 8, 2022, the Company received a letter from the Regulations Department of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC indicating that the closing bid price of the Company’s common stock has been below $1.00 per share for 30 consecutive business days, and that, therefore, the Company is not in compliance with the Minimum-Bid Price Requirement for continued listing on The Nasdaq Capital Market.
The Company is working diligently to satisfy the Minimum-Bid Price and the Stockholders’ Equity Requirements. However, there can be no assurance that the Company will be able to satisfy the Minimum-Bid Price Requirement or the Stockholders’ Equity Requirement prior to the hearing date or at all.
Reverse Stock Split
On July 25, 2022, the holders of a majority of the voting power of the capital stock of the Company executed a written consent approving a grant of discretionary authority to the board of directors of the Company (the “Board”) to, without further stockholder approval, (i) effect a reverse stock split of the Company’s issued and outstanding common stock within a range of between 10-for-1 and 20-for-1 (with the Board being authorized to determinate the exact ratio) (the “Reverse Stock Split”) and (ii) reduce the number of the Company’s authorized shares of common stock from 50,000,000 to 20,000,000 (the “Authorized Share Reduction”) by filing an amendment (the “Amendment”) to the Company’s Third Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware. The written consent was signed by the holders of 9,423,429 shares of the Company’s common stock and 250,000 shares of the Company’s Class A Preferred Stock. Each share of common stock entitles the holder thereof to one vote on all matters submitted to stockholders and each share of Class A Preferred Stock has the voting power of 1.1 times (A) the number of outstanding shares of common stock plus (B) the whole shares of Company common stock into which the outstanding shares of Class A Preferred Stock are convertible, divided by the number of outstanding shares of Class A Preferred Stock, or 99 votes per share as of July 25, 2022. Accordingly, the holders of approximately 73% of the voting power of the Company’s capital stock as of July 25, 2022 signed the written consent approving the Reverse Stock Split, the Authorized Share Reduction and the Amendment. The Board also approved the Reverse Stock Split, the Authorized Share Reduction and the Amendment.
Pursuant to rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, a definitive Schedule 14C information statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and sent or provided to the stockholders of the Company. The Reverse Stock Split will become effective no earlier than twenty (20) days from the mailing of the information statement to the common stockholders of record, and the Authorized Share Reduction will become effective once the Amendment is filed with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
The Company is not yet generating revenue, has incurred substantial operating losses since its inception and expects to continue to incur significant operating losses for the foreseeable future as it executes on its product development plan and may never become profitable. As of June 30, 2022, the Company had an accumulated deficit of $80.5 million.
On October 12, 2020, the Company announced that it had received a Complete Response Letter (the “First CRL”) from the FDA regarding the Company’s NDA for IV Tramadol. The First CRL cited deficiencies related to the terminal sterilization validation and stated that IV Tramadol, intended to treat patients in acute pain who require an opioid, is not safe for the intended patient population. On February 12, 2021, the Company resubmitted its NDA to the FDA for IV Tramadol. The NDA resubmission followed the receipt of official minutes from a Type A meeting with the FDA. The resubmission included revised language relating to the proposed product label and a report relating to terminal sterilization validation. On June 14, 2021, the Company announced that it had received a second Complete Response Letter (the “Second CRL”) from the FDA regarding the Company’s NDA for IV Tramadol. The Second CRL stated that the delayed and unpredictable onset of analgesia with IV Tramadol does not support its benefit as a monotherapy to treat patients in acute pain and that there is insufficient information to support that IV Tramadol in combination with other analgesics is safe and effective for the intended patient population. In particular, the Second CRL stated that, while the primary endpoint was met in two efficacy studies, meaningful pain relief was delayed (accounting for the use of rescue medication, e.g., ibuprofen), and some patients never achieved pain relief. The Company continues to pursue regulatory approval for IV Tramadol and had a Type A meeting with the FDA in July 2021. The FDA did not deviate from any of the positions the FDA previously took in the First CRL and the Second CRL. The Company submitted a formal dispute resolution request (“FDRR”) with the Office of Neuroscience of the FDA on July 27, 2021. On August 26, 2021, the Company received an Appeal Denied Letter from the Office of Neuroscience of the FDA in response to the FDRR submitted on July 27, 2021. On August 31, 2021, the Company submitted a FDRR with the Office of New Drugs (“OND”) of the FDA. On October 21, 2021, the Company received a written response from the OND of the FDA stating that the OND needs additional input from an Advisory Committee in order to reach a decision on the FDRR. On February 15, 2022, the Company had its Advisory Committee meeting with the FDA. In the final part of the public meeting, the Advisory Committee voted yes or no on the following question: “Has the Applicant submitted adequate information to support the position that the benefits of their product outweigh the risks for the management of acute pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic in an inpatient setting?” The results were 8 yes votes and 14 no votes. On March 18, 2022, the Company received an Appeal Denied Letter from the OND in response to the FDRR. The Company is continuing to evaluate next steps with regard to IV Tramadol.
As of June 30, 2022, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $0.9 million. The Company believes that its cash and cash equivalents are only sufficient to fund its operating expenses into the fourth quarter of 2022. The Company will need to secure additional funds through equity or debt offerings, or other potential sources. Furthermore, under the Stock Purchase and Merger Agreement (“SPMA”) with InvaGen, any equity funding must be approved by InvaGen. The Company cannot be certain that additional funding will be available to it on acceptable terms, or at all. These factors individually and collectively raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern within one year from the date of this report. The unaudited interim condensed financial statements do not contain any adjustments that might result from the resolution of any of the above uncertainty.
In addition, the Company experienced minimal impact on its development timelines and its liquidity due to the worldwide spread of COVID-19.
In light of the foregoing, it may be necessary at some point for the Company to seek protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, which could have a material adverse impact on the Company’s business, financial condition, operations and could place its shareholders at significant risk of losing all of their investment. In any such Chapter 11 proceeding, the Company may seek to restructure its obligations or commence an orderly wind-down of its operations and sale of its assets, in either event, holders of equity interests could receive or retain little or no recovery. The Company also notes that the process of exploring refinancing or restructuring alternatives, including those under Chapter 11, may be disruptive to its business and operations.
The entire disclosure for organization, consolidation and basis of presentation of financial statements disclosure.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef