Tengion (NSDQ:TNGN) said it’s hired Jefferies to assess “all strategic alternatives,” corporate shorthand for putting the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company and its organ regeneration technology on the auction block.
Tengion’s technology is designed to regenerate a range of native-like organs and tissues to delay or eliminate the need for chronic disease therapies and organ transplantation. Its Neo-Kidney Augment is in Phase 1 clinical trials in Sweden and the U.S., according to a press release.
Tengion lost $17.9 million during the 2nd quarter, reporting $10.6 million in cash and equivalents as of June 30. That’s about ½ of its reserves at the start of the year, even as current liabilities more than tripled to just over $50 million.
Tengion was founded in 2003 by Dr. Anthony Atala, head of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. It raised $40 million in a 2010 IPO and another $74 million in a sale of stock announced in August 2013. The company has been led since 2011 by John Miclot, formerly head of Respironics and then Philips Home Healthcare Solutions after its 2008 acquisition by Royal Philips (NYSE:PHG).
Jefferies was hired “to assist it with reviewing and structuring potential strategic transactions,” according to the release.
“We believe this decision increases our ability to realize the value of our organ regeneration platform and we remain committed to maximizing value for our stakeholders,” Miclot said in prepared remarks.
TNGN shares were listed at 5¢ apiece Monday, giving it a market cap of about $1.3 million. The issue peaked at $5.20 in June 2012, after Tengion reported milestones for its Neo-Urinary Conduit for use in bladder cancer patients requiring a cystectomy, or urinary diversion following bladder removal.