Great Basin Scientific Inc (NASDAQ:GBSN) is a name that we at Insider Financial have been covering for quite some time. We told our readers earlier this month that the best bet for the company after FDA clearance was a sale. Now that the company has received its first FDA clearance and a second one is soon to follow, will the board follow our advice?
GBSN received notification of clearance from the FDA on March 22, 2016. The company said that it “continues to execute against its menu expansion objectives, now providing the only FDA-cleared stand-alone molecular test to detect Shiga toxin-producing E. coli(STEC) and the serotype O157 directly from a patient specimen. The Shiga Toxin Direct Test can be run on the Great Basin Analyzer, which also performs Great Basin’s commercially available low-plex tests for Clostridium difficile (C. diff) and Group B Streptococcus (GBS), as well as the Company’s multi-plex Staph ID/R Blood Culture Panel, which is pending 510(k) clearance from the FDA.”
Great Basin’s value proposition is faster turnaround time and superior sensitivity compared to traditional methods. STEC are a leading cause of enteric bacterial infections in the U.S. Early detection can improve patient outcomes and avoid complications by ensuring that the proper antibiotic therapy is employed. The company’s Shiga Toxin Direct Test enables a streamlined workflow for laboratory technicians, offering sample-to-result testing with less than one minute of hands-on time, and without a specimen enrichment step. The test also identifies the serotype O157, a strain of E. coli linked to development of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening condition.
This is indeed great news for GBSN. Shares popped over 92% on the news and traded over $.30 in the after hours. The only problem is that we wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for management and the board diluting, reversing, and screwing over its shareholder base with toxic financings. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that the company is burning through money as fast as it can. Operating expenses were $19.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, as compared to $9.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2014. Research and development expenses of $8.5 million increased by $3.9 million over the full year of 2014, primarily due to clinical trials and regulatory submissions for our Staph ID/R Blood Culture and Shiga Toxin Direct assays as well as increased product pipeline development. Selling and marketing expenses increased by $2.7 million over the year ended December 31, 2014 to $5.0 million, reflecting additional sales force hires, increased selling commissions and other costs as the Company grew the customer base by 121%. General and administrative costs increased by $3.3 million over the year ended December 31, 2014, to $6.2 million due to increased business activities and costs associated with operating as a public company.
What adds insult to injury is that GBSN just raised $6.3 million. GBSN priced a public offering of 39.2 million units at a price of $0.16 per unit last month. Each unit consisted of one share of common stock and 1.5 Series E warrants. Each whole Series E warrant entitles the holder to acquire one share of common stock, subject to adjustment, at an exercise price of $0.25 per share for a period of five years following the date they first become exercisable. The Series E warrants are not be exercisable until at least one year from the date of issuance and exercise of the Series E warrants is subject to certain stockholder approval requirements. Couldn’t the company have waited until after FDA clearance and extracted better terms for itself and its shareholders?
The good news is that FDA clearance paves the way for revenues to increase. We do expect shares to continue trading higher in the short run. As we said before, “The key is that even with FDA approval, we don’t believe the current management team will make Great Basin successful. They are the reason the share price is where it is at now. In the best interest of the company, the board of directors needs to focus on an exit strategy. With Great Basin’s technology, the stock is currently worth a heck of a lot more than where it is trading currently and a takeover would be a drop in the bucket for a big pharma player.” We’re hoping the board listens to what we’re saying. We will be updating Insider Financial as soon as we know more. For continuing coverage on GBSN, sign up for our free newsletter today and get our next hot stock pick!
Disclosure: We have no position in GBSN and have not been compensated for this article.