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Aastrom Biosciences (ASTM) Files At-the-Market Offering and New Shelf Registration Statement

ASTM has filed a prospectus supplement to sell shares of its common stock, no par value per share, at an aggregate offering amount of approximately $20M through an “at-the-market” (ATM) offering through McNicoll, Lewis & Vlak LLC (MLV) and a new $100 M shelf registration 
  • ASTM at its discretion can sell the shares via the ATM at market prices from time to time to supplement any liquidity concerns.   

The Bottom Line: This ATM (so appropriately named) is not unlike the past arrangements with Fusion Capital which ran for several years. ASTM desperately needs the money to initiate and facilitate the P3 CLI REVIVE clinical program. Spending has so dramatically increased causing this immediacy. The offering exhausted the November shelf registration statement backfilling with a new shelf registration to offer and sell up to $100M of its securities. The new shelf registration statement filed on 6/16/11 has not yet become effective. My view is the ATM filing is earlier than I thought (without the SPA being fully negotiated or allowed) but a declining stock price hamstrings any financing with the resulting dilution.  An ATM is a good idea. What does surprised me is that yet ANOTHER banker is introduced to raise money; first, there was Oppenheimer, then Needham, Roth Capital and Stifel, Nickolas ….apparently no loyalty to the past bankers! Is ASTM making the same mistake as one former CEO, Douglas Armstrong, cherry … picked new bankers in every deal … as it does not establishing any loyalty or track record?  But, it might increase coverage which has been anemic. Thus, the constancy of dilution will be on-going … affecting an already declining share price. ASTM shares have dropped $0.04 1.61%) to $2.44.