ESSA Pharma Inc. (TSX:EPI; NASDAQ:EPIX), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel small molecule drugs for the treatment of prostate cancer, announced today that it has received written notification (the "Notification Letter") from The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC notifying the Company that it is not in compliance with the minimum market value of listed securities requirement set forth in Nasdaq Rules for continued listing on The Nasdaq Capital Market. Nasdaq Listing Rule 5550(b)(2) requires listed securities to maintain a minimum market value of US $35.0 million, and Listing Rule 5810(c)(3)(C) provides that a failure to meet the minimum market valuerequirement exists if the deficiency continues for a period of 30 consecutive business days. Based on the market value of the Company's common shares for the 30 consecutive business days from June 7, 2017, the Company no longer meets the minimum bid price requirement.
The Notification Letter does not impact the Company's listing on The Nasdaq Capital Market at this time. In accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5810(c)(3)(C), the Company has been provided 180 calendar days, or until January 16, 2018, to regain compliance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5550(b)(2). To regain compliance, the Company's common shares must have a market value of at least US $35.0 million for a minimum of 10 consecutive business days. In the event the Company does not regain compliance by January 16, 2018, the Company may be eligible for additional time to regain compliance.
The Company intends to monitor the market value of its common shares between now and January 16, 2018 and intends to cure the deficiency within the prescribed grace period. During this time, the Company's common shares will continue to be listed and trade on the Nasdaq Capital Market.
The Company's business operations are not affected by the receipt of the Notification Letter.
The Company is also listed on the TSX and the Notification Letter does not affect the Company's compliance status with such listing.
About ESSA Pharma Inc.
ESSA is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing novel and proprietary therapies for the treatment of castrate resistant prostate cancer ("CRPC") in patients whose disease is progressing despite treatment with current therapies. ESSA believes that its product candidate, EPI-506, can significantly expand the interval of time in which patients suffering from CRPC can benefit from hormone-based therapies. Specifically, EPI-506 acts by disrupting the androgen receptor ("AR") signaling pathway that drives prostate cancer growth. EPI-002, the primary metabolite of EPI-506, prevents AR transcriptional activity by binding selectively to the N-terminal domain ("NTD") of the AR. A functional NTD is essential for transactivation of the AR. In preclinical studies, blocking the NTD has demonstrated the capability to overcome the known AR-dependent mechanisms of CRPC. ESSA was founded in 2009.
About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the second-most commonly diagnosed cancer among men and the fifth most common cause of male cancer death worldwide (Globocan, 2012). Adenocarcinoma of the prostate is dependent on androgen for tumor progression and depleting or blocking androgen action has been a mainstay of hormonal treatment for over six decades. Although tumors are often initially sensitive to medical or surgical therapies that decrease levels of testosterone, disease progression despite castrate levels of testosterone generally represents a transition to the lethal variant of the disease, mCRPC, and most patients ultimately succumb to the illness. The treatment of mCRPC patients has evolved rapidly over the past five years. Despite these advances, additional treatment options are needed to improve clinical outcomes in patients, particularly those who fail existing treatments including abiraterone or enzalutamide, or those who have contraindications to receive those drugs. Over time, patients with mCRPC generally experience continued disease progression, worsening pain, leading to substantial morbidity and limited survival rates. In both in vitro and in vivo animal studies, ESSA's novel approach to blocking the androgen pathway has been shown to be effective in blocking tumor growth when current therapies are no longer effective.