Biotech Survival Index: Cash Running Low at Seattle Life Sciences Companies

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Trubion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: TRBN). This Seattle-based company had $61.6 million in cash at the end of September, and burned through a more modest $6.6 million net loss in the quarter. Still, Trubion has had to find ways to conserve $12 million of its cash this year, the company said.

Targeted Genetics (NASDAQ: TGEN). When H. Stewart Parker, the founder, CEO, and spiritual leader of this determined Seattle company heads to the exit, you know things are looking grim. It had $9.2 million left in the bank at the end of September, and only enough money to run the business into the first quarter of 2009. New CEO Susan Robinson once worked at Cambridge, MA-based Genzyme, one of the few healthy biotechs still pursuing gene therapy, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Genzyme is at least kicking the tires on this penny stock.

Cell Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CTIC). Things are so dark at CTI, that they released data showing their experimental drug for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma caused tumors to completely disappear for 20 percent of patients, compared with 6 percent on standard chemotherapy, and it only boosted its stock by one penny, to 34 cents. Cell Therapeutics had $11.7 million in cash left at the end of September, and an operating loss of $17.8 million. That means it needs to raise more cash in a hurry, before the end of the year, the company said.

Oncothyreon (NASDAQ: ONTY). This Seattle-based cancer drug company had $11.4 million left in the bank at the end of September, and lost $3.6 million in the most recent quarter. It has enough to run into the first quarter of 2009.

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: OGXI). This cancer drug developer, with offices in Bothell and Vancouver, BC, which inherited the balance sheet of Sonus Pharmaceuticals, had $17.2 million at the end of September. It says it has enough to run its operation “through 2009.”

Northstar Neuroscience (NASDAQ: NSTR). The Seattle maker of an electrical brain-stimulation device for patients with severe depression has already made significant cuts this year, after its machine failed to help stroke patients restore movement to disabled arms. It had $70.2 million at the end of September, and expects to still have $53 million left at the end of 2009, the company said.

MDRNA (NASDAQ: MRNA). This RNA interference drug developer, in Bothell, reported its finances today. At the end of September, it had $10.9 million in cash and investments, and reported a net loss of $16.1 million. It has already made layoffs, and former CEO Steven Quay left last month, but retains a seat on the board. MDRNA said it believes it has enough cash to operate into the first quarter of 2009.

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