Reverse stock split keeps Arca on Nasdaq

BROOMFIELD – Drug research company Arca Biopharma Inc. completed a reverse stock split to raise its per-share trading price and regain compliance with Nasdaq stock market rules, the company said Tuesday.

Broomfield-based Arca (Nasdaq: ABIO) said the 6-1 reverse split became effective at the close of trading at 5:01 p.m. EST Monday, March 4. The transaction reduced the number of outstanding shares from about 19.1 million to about 3.2 million, the company said in a press statement.

Arca’s common stock must have a minimum closing bid price of $1 per share for a minimum of 10 consecutive trading days prior to Tuesday, April 9, to meet Nasdaq compliance rules, the company said. In October, three executives of Arca Biopharma and an investor bought company stock to raise about $325,000 in a private placement in a similar push to keep the minimum closing bid price above $1.

The company is developing drugs to treat cardiovascular diseases, including heart failure and atrial fibrillation, the formal name for irregular heartbeat. Arca announced in early February that it planned to collaborate with Medtronic Inc. (NYSE: MDT) on a Phase 3 trial of Gencaro, its drug to treat atrial fibrillation. Minneapolis-based Medtronic has an office in Louisville.

Phase 3 trials usually are seen as the final step in a years-long approval process required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell a drug commercially in the United States. At least 2.7 million Americans had atrial fibrillation in 2010, according to company literature.

Arca’s stock price was at $2.63 around noon on Tuesday, March 5. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has trade in a range between 23 cents and $1.15.

Arca received a delisting warning from Nasdaq on April 12. In general, companies on the Nasdaq stock exchange must meet certain standards to continue to be publicly traded. Companies that meet Nasdaq’s standard, for example, must have stockholder equity of $2.5 million; have at least 500,000 publicly held shares; must have $1 million in stock value; have stock that trades for at least $1 per share; and have at least 300 public stockholders.

Arca has received delisting notices from Nasdaq in each of the past three years, according to SEC documents. The company regained compliance in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

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