A Gaithersburg-based biopharmaceutical firm no longer plans to liquidate and dissolve, the company announced in a news release Wednesday.
GenVec is incorporated in Delaware but its main office is at 65 W. Watkins Mill Road in Gaithersburg, according to records filed with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission.
The company’s board of directors withdrew a plan of complete liquidation and dissolution adopted May 24 and will pursue a strategy focused on “maximizing the value of its technology and assets” and its collaboration with Novartis to develop treatments for hearing loss, the news release said.
GenVec also announced Wednesday the resignation of president and CEO Cynthia Collins. Douglas J. Swirsky—the company’s senior vice president and chief financial officer since 2006—was named chief executive officer.
In May, the Washington Business Journal reported that the vote to dissolve the company followed a string of setbacks, including the flop of a pancreatic cancer drug and the retirement of longtime CEO Paul Fischer.
GenVec had terminated 30 of its remaining 41 employees, according to records filed with the SEC last month.
Swirsky, in the news release, credited Collins with “substantially” reducing the company’s operating costs and said a lot had changed since May:
“While we have pursued several of the opportunities that we viewed as potentially viable, they were ultimately not appropriate for any number of reasons, including lack of sufficient funding, or inadequate recognition of the value of GenVec. During this time, we have grown more confident in the success of our hearing loss program. We, therefore, believe that shareholders are best served by preserving the Company's hearing loss program and remaining assets within GenVec. In addition, by withdrawing the plan of dissolution, we can also take the time necessary to find licensees or collaborators who assign a reasonable value to our technologies, rather than valuing the technology in the shadow of dissolution."