Weakened OPXA Gets a Needed Boost with Initiation of Phase IIb Trial

On Wednesday morning, Opexa Therapeutics (NASDAQ:OPXA) announced the initiation of a Phase IIb trial, called Alibi-T, for Tcelna, the company’s T-cell therapy for multiple sclerosis. The announcement should strengthen OPXA today as Tcelna, which was recently rebranded from Tovaxin, moves a little closer to commercialization. Opexa shares have been weak this year; the company was warned of a NASDAQ delisting in February after share price dipped below $1 for more than 30 days, but has subsequently received an extension to the delisting timeframe, and has until February of 2013 to improve its valuation. Investors fear a reverse split if OPXA fails to regain compliance.

Opexa has roughly $4M in cash after a recent private stock offering but only expects to be able to continue operating into November without raising further capital. On September 7th, however, Opexa entered into an At-The-Market sales agreement that allows them to sell up to 4M shares of common stock at market pricing, which should generate over $2.5M. The ATM deal was originally created in 2009 through a shelf registration, allowing sales at any time, but the company will likely tap this opportunity before the year is out. Possible dilution and the implications of a NASDAQ delisting make Opexa a touchy investment beyond a swing trade Wednesday.