Neovasc Inc. (“Neovasc” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ, TSX: NVCN), a leader in the development of minimally invasive transcatheter mitral valve replacement technologies, today announced that its Board of Directors (the “Board”) has elected Steve Rubin as Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. Rubin succeeds Paul Geyer, who will remain a Director of the Board.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to work more closely with Fred and the rest of the Neovasc team as we advance the Company’s development and commercial strategy for the Tiara and Reducer,” stated Mr. Rubin. “We are all thankful for Paul’s tenure as Chairman of the Company since November 2000. His contributions to the team are immeasurable and we are fortunate to have him continue to serve with us on the Board.”
Fred Colen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Neovasc, stated, “Steve has played an active role on the Board over the past ten years. During this time he has offered the Neovasc team thoughtful insight on the development and commercial strategy for the Reducer and our development of the Tiara. I look forward to working even closer with him as Chairman of the Board as we continue to pursue these programs.”
Mr. Rubin joined the Neovasc Board as an independent director in July 2008. Mr. Rubin is the Executive Vice President, Administration, and a director of OPKO Health, Inc., a multinational biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company establishing important positions in large, underserved markets. He also serves on the board of directors of several other innovative healthcare companies, including Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: COCP), a biotechnology company developing new treatments for viral diseases, Chromadex Corporation (NASDAQ: CDXC), an innovator of proprietary health, wellness and nutritional ingredients that creates science based solutions for dietary supplement food and beverage, skin care, sports nutrition and pharmaceutical products, and Eloxx Pharmaceuticals,Inc. (NASDAQ:ELOX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel therapeutics to treat cystic fibrosis, cystinosis and other diseases caused by nonsense mutations limiting production of functional proteins.
The Board has also elected Paul Geyer as Chairman of the Audit Committee and Strategic Activities Committee (succeeding Steve Rubin, who will remain a member of the Audit Committee and Strategic Activities Committee), Doug Janzen as Chairman of the Compensation Committee (succeeding Dr. Jane Hsiao, who will remain a member of the Compensation Committee), and Alexei Marko as Chairman of the Governance and Nominating Committee (replacing Steve Rubin).
As previously disclosed, the Company is currently not in compliance with the minimum bid price requirement set forth in the Nasdaq Rules for Continued Listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market (the “Listing Rules”) and has been provided until July 2, 2018 (the “Initial Grace Period”) to regain compliance with Listing Rule 5550(a)(2). To regain compliance, the Company’s common shares must have a closing bid price of at least US$1.00 for a minimum of 10 consecutive business days. The Company sought and received approval at its recent Annual General and Special Meeting of Shareholders to complete, at the Board’s discretion, a reverse stock split (common share consolidation), for purposes of attempting to regain compliance with the minimum bid price requirement. The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”) will generally not consider the matter prior to the end of the Initial Grace Period. Upon the expiry of the Initial Grace Period, the Company intends to seek an additional period of 180-days to regain compliance, by requesting a hearing from the Nasdaq Hearings Panel, which will ordinarily stay a delisting process until the Nasdaq Hearings Panel renders its decision on the Company’s request for an extension (typically within a few months after the request for a hearing is made). The Company believes that obtaining the advance approval of its shareholders to effect a reverse stock split provides strong support for its request for an additional 180-day extension; however, the Company notes that shareholder approval of the reverse stock split does not necessarily guarantee that the Nasdaq Hearings Panel will grant it an extension to regain compliance. The Company intends to provide further updates on its efforts to obtain an extension to regain compliance following the expiry of the Initial Grace Period.