Acasti Receives NASDAQ Notification Regarding Minimum Bid Requirements

Friday, 28. February 2020 23:00

LAVAL, Québec, Feb. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Acasti Pharma Inc. (“Acasti” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: ACST – TSX-V: ACST), a biopharmaceutical innovator focused on the research, development and commercialization of its prescription drug candidate CaPre® (omega-3 phospholipid) for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) (triglyceride blood levels from 500 mg/dL to 1500 mg/dL), today announced that on February 28, 2020, it received written notification from the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Department (“Nasdaq”) for failing to maintain a minimum bid price of U.S.$1.00 per share for the last 30 consecutive business days, as required by Nasdaq Listing Rule 5550(a)(2) – bid price (the “Minimum Bid Price Rule”).

The Nasdaq notification has no immediate effect on the listing of Acasti Pharma’s shares. Under Nasdaq Listing Rule 5810(c)(3)(A) – compliance period, Acasti Pharma has 180 calendar days, or until August 26, 2020, to regain compliance. If at any time over this period the bid price of Acasti Pharma’s shares closes at U.S.$1.00 per share or more for a minimum of ten (10) consecutive business days, Nasdaq will provide written confirmation of compliance and the matter will be closed.

If Acasti Pharma does not regain compliance within the initial 180-day period, but otherwise meets the continued listing requirements for market value of publicly-held shares and all other initial listing standards for the Nasdaq Listing Rule 5505 – Capital Market criteria, except for the Minimum Bid Price Rule, Acasti Pharma may be eligible for an additional 180 calendar days to regain compliance. If Acasti Pharma is not granted additional time, then its shares will be subject to delisting, at which time Acasti Pharma may appeal the delisting determination to a Nasdaq Hearings Panel.

Acasti Pharma intends to evaluate all available options to resolve the deficiency and regain compliance with the Minimum Bid Price Rule.

About CaPre (omega-3 phospholipid) 

Acasti’s prescription drug candidate, CaPre, is a highly purified omega-3 phospholipid concentrate derived from krill oil, and is being developed to treat severe hypertriglyceridemia, a metabolic condition that contributes to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and pancreatitis. Its omega-3s, principally EPA and DHA, are either “free” or bound to phospholipids, which allows for better absorption into the body. Acasti believes that EPA and DHA are more efficiently transported by phospholipids sourced from krill oil than the EPA and DHA contained in fish oil that are transported either by triglycerides (as in dietary supplements) or as ethyl esters in other prescription omega-3 drugs, which must then undergo additional digestion before they are ready for transport in the bloodstream. Clinically, the phospholipids may not only improve the absorption, distribution, and metabolism of omega-3s, but they may also decrease the synthesis of LDL cholesterol in the liver, impede or block cholesterol absorption, and stimulate lipid secretion from bile. In two Phase 2 studies, CaPre achieved a statistically significant reduction of triglycerides and non-HDL cholesterol levels in patients across the dyslipidemia spectrum from patients with mild to moderate hypertriglyceridemia (patients with TG blood levels between 200mg/dl and 500mg/dl) to patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia (those with TG levels above 500mg/dl). Furthermore, in the Phase 2 studies, CaPre demonstrated the potential to actually reduce LDL, or “bad cholesterol”, as well as the potential to increase HDL, or “good cholesterol”, especially at the therapeutic dose of 4 grams/day. The Phase 2 data also showed a significant reduction of HbA1c at a 4-gram dose, suggesting that due to its unique omega-3/phospholipid composition, CaPre may actually improve long-term glucose metabolism. Acasti’s TRILOGY Phase 3 program is currently underway, as noted above.

About Acasti Pharma

Acasti Pharma is a biopharmaceutical innovator advancing a potentially best-in-class cardiovascular drug, CaPre, for the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia, a chronic condition affecting an estimated one third of the U.S. population. Since its founding in 2008, Acasti Pharma has focused on addressing a critical market need for an effective, safe and well-absorbing omega-3 therapeutic that can make a positive impact on the major blood lipids associated with cardiovascular disease risk. The company is developing CaPre in a Phase 3 clinical program in patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia, a market that includes 3 to 4 million patients in the U.S. The potential exists to expand the treatable market in the United States to the approximately 50 million people with TGs above 150 mg/dl, given the recent FDA approval of expanded labeling for VASCEPA based on the recent positive REDUCE-IT outcome study results. Acasti may need to conduct at least one additional clinical trial to support FDA approval of a supplemental New Drug Application to expand CaPre’s indications to this segment. Acasti’s strategy is to commercialize CaPre in the U.S. and the company is pursuing development and distribution partnerships to market CaPre in major countries around the world. For more information, visit www.acastipharma.com.

Forward Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not statements of historical or current fact constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of Canadian securities laws and “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of U.S. federal securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other unknown factors that could cause the actual results of Acasti to be materially different from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In addition to statements which explicitly describe such risks and uncertainties, readers are urged to consider statements labeled with the terms “believes,” “belief,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “potential,” “should,” “may,” “will,” “plans,” “continue”, “targeted” or other similar expressions to be uncertain and forward-looking. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, information or statements about Acasti’s strategy, future operations, prospects and the plans of management; Acasti’s ability to conduct all required clinical and non-clinical trials for CaPre, including the timing and results of those trials; the timing and the outcome of licensing negotiations;  CaPre’s potential to become the “best-in-class” cardiovascular drug for treating severe Hypertriglyceridemia (HTG), Acasti’s ability to commercially launch CaPre and to fund its continued operations, CaPre’s potential to meet or exceed the target primary endpoint of reducing triglycerides by 20% compared to placebo, Acasti’s ability to report topline results for TRILOGY 2 within the contemplated timing as well as Acasti’s ability to report key secondary and exploratory endpoints from both TRILOGY studies within the contemplated timing, and Acasti’s ability to file an NDA based on the TRILOGY studies.

The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, the “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information” section contained in Acasti’s latest annual report on Form 20-F and most recent management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A), which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, on EDGAR at www.sec.gov/edgar/shtml, and on the investor section of Acasti’s website at www.acastipharma.com. All forward-looking statements in this press release are made as of the date of this press release. Acasti does not undertake to update any such forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. The forward-looking statements contained herein are also subject generally to assumptions and risks and uncertainties that are described from time to time in Acasti’s public securities filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian securities commissions, including Acasti’s latest annual report on Form 20-F and most recent MD&A.

Neither NASDAQ, the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Acasti Contact:
Jan D’Alvise
Chief Executive Officer
Tel: 450-686-4555
Email: info@acastipharma.com
www.acastipharma.com

Investor Contact:
Crescendo Communications, LLC
Tel: 212-671-1020
Email: ACST@crescendo-ir.com

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