GenVec board restructures operations, withdraws plan of dissolution
The board of directors of GenVec, a biopharmaceutical company using differentiated, proprietary technologies to create therapeutics and vaccines, has withdrawn the Plan of Complete Liquidation and Dissolution for the company, previously adopted May 24.
The company will pursue a strategy focused on maximizing the value of its technology and assets, including its collaboration with Novartis to develop novel treatments for hearing loss.
In connection with this new operating plan, Cynthia Collins, president and chief executive officer, left the company and resigned as a member of its board. Douglas J. Swirsky, who has been GenVec's senior vice president and chief financial officer since 2006, has been named president and chief executive officer and has been appointed to the board.
"GenVec's decision to withdraw its plan of dissolution is a result of our increased confidence that milestones in our collaborations can be realized and our ability to bring our expenditures in line with our resources," said Swirsky. "Not including potential milestone payments from Novartis, we have cash, cash equivalents and investments to fund our operations through at least the end of 2014. Since the board approved the plan of dissolution, we have received a number of proposals purported to maximize the value of GenVec's assets. While we have pursued several of the opportunities that we viewed as potentially viable, they were ultimately not appropriate for any number of reasons, including lack of sufficient funding or inadequate recognition of the value of GenVec.
“During this time, we have grown more confident in the success of our hearing loss program,” said Swirsky. “We believe shareholders are best served by preserving the company's hearing loss program and remaining assets within GenVec. In addition, by withdrawing the plan of dissolution, we can also take the time necessary to find licensees or collaborators who assign a reasonable value to our technologies, rather than valuing the technology in the shadow of dissolution."
Following the unanimous approval to withdraw the plan of dissolution and the approval of the operating strategy, directors Edward M. Connor, Jr., M.D., Adel A.F. Mahmoud, M.D., Ph.D., and Kevin M. Rooney resigned from the board, which now has five members.