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Cash-Strapped Abeona's Stock Skyrockets As Gene Therapy Company Explores Strategic Options.

Byline: Shanthi Rexaline

Abeona Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ABEO)'s market capitalization was growing by about two-thirds Tuesday following an announcement concerning the exploration of strategic options.

The thinly traded micro-cap cell and gene therapy company said it has initiated a review of strategic options in a bid to advance its mission and maximize shareholder value.

The company said it has initiated a process to explore a broad range of strategic alternatives, including partnerships for its various clinical and pre-clinical programs -- or a sale or merger.

Abeona has appointed Jefferies as its financial advisor to assist with the process.

"Given our expertise in gene and cell therapy, we believe we are well positioned to explore a variety of opportunities, pursue strategic partnerships and alliances, improve our capital structure and accelerate development of candidates towards commercialization," CEO Joao Siffert said in a statement.

Maxim Group analyst Jason McCarthy recently downgraded Abeona from Buy to Neutral, citing the additional capital the company might need, and keeping in mind the funding needs for initiating a Phase 3 study of EB-101 in recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa and the company's cash burn rate.

Ahead of Tuesday's session, Abeona shares had lost about 80% of their value year-to-date.

At last check, the shares were galloping 75.65% higher to $2.72 on about 13 times their average volume.

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Date:Sep 3, 2019
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