Vowing to find the ever-elusive cure for cancer, Cell Therapeutics went from being a small-time Wall Street darling to threats from Nasdaq to kick the company off the trading floor if it can't pull up it's stock price. Founded in 1991, the company went public in five years later, pulling in public investment for drugs targeting cancer and related health problems. And it started pretty strong as far as Wall Street is concerned, opening at $10 a share and growing over the next three years.
But then, almost exactly a decade ago, Cell Therapeutics announced the failure of Lisofylline in clinical trials. The hope was that the drug would be used to combat the severe and sometimes fatal infections cancer that can hit cancer patients undergoing aggressive treatment. That day, Wall Street fled en masse from the company, the stock dropping by more than half.
Over the next decade, the company went through some pretty severe peaks and valleys. At one point the stock price hovered around the $70 mark, only to dip below $10 in 2002. There were a few more months that suggested signs of life, but Cell Therapeutics never really recovered and investors moved on, the stock price continuing to slide, finally falling below the $1 mark on March 5, a no-no by Nasdaq standards. The price has stayed in pennies territory ever since. Cell Therapeutics has until Oct. 13 to get the price back up before Nasdaq will consider taking some kind of action. The company said in a press release that it is "consider[ing] available options to resolve the deficiency."