Husson’s graduation speaker tries to save his company from being kicked off the Nasdaq

The Aroostook County woman whose company launched a non-hormonal form of birth control to use when you need it in 2020 will speak at Husson University graduation as she tries to prevent his company being kicked off the Nasdaq stock exchange because of his sinking stock price.

Saundra Pelletier, a Husson graduate and former board member, will speak and receive an honorary degree at Husson’s commencement ceremony at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on May 7.

Pelletier, who grew up in Caribou, is the CEO of Evofem Biosciences Inc., a San Diego-based pharmaceutical company specializing in women’s reproductive health.

Evofem produces Phexxi, a contraceptive gel that women can use up to an hour before having sex. The gel lowers vaginal pH levels to acidic levels, making it inhospitable to sperm and reducing the likelihood of getting pregnant. The gel is non-hormonal, a relief for people who suffer from unwanted side effects like headaches, weight gain and high blood pressure due to hormonal birth control.

“I knew this product could be a game-changer,” Pelletier told the Bangor Daily News last June.

At the same time, Evofem has suffered financial setbacks that could threaten its future as a publicly traded company.

Its stock price has fallen nearly 97% since May 2020, leading the Nasdaq to warn the company in August 2021 that it was at risk of being delisted from the stock exchange because Evofem’s price had fallen sharply. below the minimum $1 per share requirement for the public. trade.

Delisting a company from a stock exchange often results in a further drop in the value of that company’s shares. Shareholders retain control of their shares, but may have more difficulty reselling them.

Evofem’s stock price was $5.79 per share on May 26, 2020, four days after the US Food and Drug Administration approved Phexxi. Its shares were valued at 19 cents on Monday afternoon.

Nasdaq accepted Evofem’s plan to restore compliance with the exchange’s $1 per share requirement earlier this month and agreed to postpone the potential delisting until May 20, after holding the company’s annual meeting of shareholders, Evofem spokesman Jack Hirschfield said.

Husson University spokesman Eric Gordon called Pelletier “quite accomplished.”

“Here at Husson University, we look at a person’s totality of achievement as part of our honorary degree selection process,” he said. Pelletier “is a proud graduate of Husson University, and we are proud of her many accomplishments. »

Shareholders will vote at Evofem’s May 4 meeting on whether or not to allow the company to reduce the number of its shares, in hopes of increasing their value and allowing the company to raise more money. money from other sources.

Evofem sold 40,000 boxes of Phexxi in the last quarter of 2021, a record, and reduced the amount of cash reserves it spent per quarter by $16.8 million, according to company filings. with the SEC.

The FDA is also considering Phexxi as a preventative treatment for chlamydia and gonorrhea, which could boost the company’s sales, Pelletier said.

She also expects sales to rise after the US Department of Health and Human Services issued guidelines in January requiring insurance companies to provide women with expanded access to FDA-approved contraceptives like Phexxi. .

“2022 is our year,” Pelletier said in a letter to shareholders.

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