Husson’s closing spokeswoman is trying to keep her company from being delisted from Nasdaq
The Aroostook County woman, whose company launched a non-hormonal, on-demand form of birth control in 2020, will speak at Husson University’s graduation ceremony as she tries to prevent her company from being listed on Nasdaq because of it being thrown at its falling stock price.
Saundra Pelletier, a Husson graduate and former member of the Board of Trustees, will address Husson’s inaugural ceremony at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on May 7 and accept the honorary doctorate.
Pelletier, who grew up in Caribou, is Chief Executive Officer of Evofem Biosciences Inc., a San Diego-based pharmaceutical company specializing in women’s reproductive health.
Evofem makes Phexxi, a contraceptive gel that women can use up to an hour before having sex. The gel lowers the vaginal pH to acidic levels, making it inhospitable to sperm and reducing the chances of pregnancy. The gel is non-hormonal, a relief for people suffering from side effects such as headaches, weight gain and high blood pressure from 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 jeopardize its future as a public company.
The share price has fallen nearly 97 percent since May 2020, prompting Nasdaq to warn the company in August 2021 that it was at risk of being delisted because Evofem’s price fell below the minimum requirement of $1. Dollar per share had fallen for the public trading.
Delisting a company from a stock exchange often results in that company’s stock value falling further. Shareholders retain control of their shares but may find it more difficult to sell them.
Evofem’s share price was $5.79 per share on May 26, 2020, four days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Phexxi. Its shares were valued at 19 cents as of Monday afternoon.
Nasdaq accepted Evofem’s plan to regain compliance with the exchange’s $1 requirement earlier this month and agreed to delay the potential delisting until May 20 after the company held its annual shareholder meeting, Evofem spokesman said Jack Hirschfield.
Husson University spokesman Eric Gordon called Pelletier “quite adept”.
“Here at Husson University, as part of our honors degree selection process, we look at the totality of an individual’s accomplishments,” he said. Pelletier “is a proud Husson University graduate and we are proud of her many accomplishments.”
Shareholders will vote at Evofem’s May 4 meeting on whether the company can reduce the number of shares it holds in hopes of increasing their value and allowing the company to raise more money from other sources.
Evofem sold 40,000 cases of Phexxi in the last quarter of 2021, a record high, and reduced cash reserves issued each quarter by $16.8 million, according to the company’s SEC filings.
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 expected sales to surge after the US Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance in January requiring insurance companies to give women expanded access to FDA-approved contraceptives like Phexxi.
“2022 is our year,” Pelletier said in a letter to shareholders.