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A huge milestone point in the evolution of a small biotech or growing pharmaceutical company comes when the auditors feel that the company's cash position is stable enough to remove the 'going concern' from the financial reports.

For Apricus Biosciences (APRI), this milestone has been breached, as it was announced on Tuesday that the upcoming financial report would not have a "going concern" attached to it.

The going concern is always a looming reminder for investors that their investment could be diluted at any point in time should the company need to raise cash, and even worse, the investment could be completely lost if the "concern" were to become severe enough that bankruptcy is the only way out.

It could turn out that at some point in turn the Apricus financial statements will need to include the dreaded going concern again should events turn south at some point in the future, but with $11 million in cash, an approved product on the Canadian market, and some major approval and pipeline milestones due through the course of 2011 and beyond, there should be no looking back for this company.

The cash on hand is enough to last deep into 2012, according to statements issued by the company, and by that time Vitaros, the Canadian-approved product treating sexual dysfunction, should be well embedded in the market and taking in increased revenue.

Apricus is also looking for U.S. and European approval of Vitaros this year and already has licensing and partnership deals in place that will bring in a significant amount of up-front cash, and that goes along with possible milestone payments that could bring in even more cash by the time the bank accounts are looking thin.

With the cash situation sorted, Apricus can essentially self-fund the advancement of its rather robust pipeline of products that includes treatments for various indications, including female sexual arousal disorder, Raynaud’s Syndrome and cancer.

With the potential held in this pipeline, the current market cap should eventually look like quite the steal for mid to long term investors. It could be as early as later this year that the company realizes significant gains in share price and market capitalization.

Additionally, with the going concern now off the table, a whole new set of investors could start rolling in, and Apricus is also now that much more attractive to any potential buyer or partner.

With big pharma on the lookout for mergers and acquisitions this year, they might not have to look any further than Apricus Biosciences to find themselves a steal.

Other growing companies looking good for M&A right about now are Avanir (AVNR) and Amarin (AMRN). Both have just experienced significant milestones and modest price slides, but the future for each could look as bright as that of Apricus.

Source: Apricus Biosciences: All Grown Up and Attractive for Potential Buyers?