SOURCE: VIA Pharmaceuticals

VIA Pharmaceuticals

March 31, 2010 16:01 ET

VIA Pharmaceuticals Announces Strategic Restructuring and Financing

Financing, Workforce Reduction Aimed at Focusing Resources on Research and Development Related to Pipeline Drug Candidates

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - March 31, 2010) -  VIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: VIAP), a biotechnology company focused on the development of compounds for the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic disease, today announced a strategic restructuring and financing aimed at focusing the Company's resources on research and development related to its pipeline of drug candidates. The Company announced a $1.25 million draw from a new $3.0 million secured Note and Warrant Purchase Agreement with the Company's principal stockholder.  Details of the agreement, its terms and conditions are described in the Company's 2009 annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on form 10-K today. The Company also announced that it will reduce its workforce to a core research and development team.

"VIA's pipeline takes a novel approach to the treatment of major cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, including atherosclerosis and diabetes," said Lawrence K. Cohen, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of VIA Pharmaceuticals. By focusing our workforce on a core research and development team and raising this new financing, we have provided additional time to explore opportunities for advancing these promising product candidates, including strategic partnerships or additional financings."

VIA's pipeline product candidates include:

  • VIA-2291, a Phase 3 ready inhibitor of 5-LO, a key enzyme for the production of leukotrienes, which are mediators of inflammation believed to be involved in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. No therapy currently exists to directly target inflammation in plaque, a potential catalyst for heart attack, stroke and other acute coronary events 
  • VIA-3196, an IND ready thyroid hormone receptor (THR) beta agonist for the control of cholesterol, triglyceride levels and potential in insulin sensitization/diabetes
  • A preclinical diacylglycerol acyl transferase 1 (DGAT1) metabolic disorders program

Dr. Cohen added, "While this new financing provides resources to allow us to continue pursuing our goals while we seek additional capital, we regret that the reduction in force affects a number of our employees, whom I want to personally thank for their loyalty and hard work." 

The Company's reduction in force primarily affects finance and business development personnel. The reduction which is effective March 31, 2010 reduces the total number of employees at the Company by approximately 63%, to a total of six employees. 

About VIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
VIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on the development of compounds for the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic disease. VIA's lead candidate, VIA-2291, targets a significant unmet medical need: reducing inflammation in plaque, which is an underlying cause of atherosclerosis and its complications, including heart attack and stroke. In addition, VIA's pipeline of drug candidates includes other compounds to address other underlying causes of cardiovascular disease: high cholesterol, diabetes and inflammation. For more information, visit: http://www.viapharmaceuticals.com.

Forward Looking Statements
This press release may contain "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to future events or to VIA's future financial performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause VIA's actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the use of words such as "may," "could," "expect," "intend," "plan," "seek," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," "continue" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond VIA's control and which could materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements.

Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to:

  • our ability to find a market maker to apply and be cleared by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to quote our common stock on the OTC Bulletin Board;
  • ability and willingness of active market makers in our common stock to trade our common stock on the Pink Sheets under a "piggyback qualification";
  • our ability to borrow additional amounts under the new loan from Bay City Capital, which is subject to the discretion of Bay City Capital;
  • our ability to obtain necessary financing in the near term, including amounts necessary to repay the previous loan from Bay City Capital following the April 1, 2010 maturity date;
  • our ability to control our operating expenses;
  • our ability to comply with covenants included in the loans from Bay City Capital;
  • our ability to operate following the implementation of our strategic restructuring;
  • our ability to comply with SEC reporting obligations following our strategic restructuring;
  • our ability to timely recruit and enroll patients in any future clinical trials;
  • our failure to obtain sufficient data from enrolled patients that can be used to evaluate VIA-2291, thereby impairing the validity or statistical significance of our clinical trials;
  • our ability to successfully complete our clinical trials of VIA-2291 on expected timetables and the outcomes of such clinical trials;
  • complexities in designing and implementing cardiometabolic clinical trials using surrogate endpoints in Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials which may differ from the ultimate endpoints required for registration of a candidate drug;
  • the results of our clinical trials, including without limitation, with respect to the safety and efficacy of VIA-2291;
  • if the results of the ACS and CEA studies, upon further review and analysis, are revised, interpreted differently by regulatory authorities or negated by later stage clinical trials;
  • our ability to obtain necessary FDA approvals, including to initiate future clinical trials of VIA-2291;
  • our ability to successfully commercialize VIA-2291;
  • our ability to identify potential clinical candidates from the family of DGAT1 compounds licensed and move them into preclinical development;
  • our ability to obtain and protect our intellectual property related to our product candidates;
  • our potential for future growth and the development of our product pipeline, including the THR beta agonist candidate and the other compounds licensed from Roche;
  • our ability to obtain strategic opportunities to partner and collaborate with large biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies to further develop VIA-2291;
  • our ability to form and maintain collaborative relationships to develop and commercialize our product candidates;
  • general economic and business conditions; and the other risks described under Item IA "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009 on file with the SEC.

All forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements set forth above. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and VIA undertakes no obligation to update publicly any of these statements in light of new information or future events.

Contact Information

  • Contact Information:
    VIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    Lawrence K. Cohen
    Chief Executive Officer
    415.283.2209

    Media contact:
    Andrea Rabney
    Argot Partners
    212-600-1902