- The Washington Times - Monday, June 3, 2002

Shares of Cel-Sci Corp., despite improved operating expenses and promising results for its drugs in testing, have been hard hit by the recession.
Having traded at above $1 on the American Stock Exchange six months ago, shares of Cel-Sci, a biotechnology company focused on finding cures for cancer, closed at 30 cents Friday.
"The entire future of the company depends on their cash position," says Paul Cohen, analyst with Dirty Dozen Research. "The future of any small biotech depends on that."
While Cel-Sci has been successful in raising the cash it requires so far, it is not certain whether the company can continue raising money in the current tough economic environment, Mr. Cohen adds.
"It all depends on their cash position. Otherwise, their science is excellent," he says.
Cel-Sci's main drug is Multi-kline, which treats cancers and pre-cancerous conditions. In March it was found by scientists at the Institute of Human Virology, where the drug is in the second stage of clinical trials, to be an effective new treatment for women with cervical cancer.
Cel-Sci also in recent months discovered a new compound called derG, that has been shown to create protection against malaria, cancer and herpes in animal models, according to testing performed by the U.S. Navy in late April.
Luis Martins, analyst with Taglich Brothers Inc., says the outlook for the stock is good if the company continues making positive announcements regarding its drugs in testing. He says if the economy rebounds, then the stock could go as high as $1.90 per share over the next year.
Geert Kersten, Cel-Sci's chief executive officer, is not discouraged by the low price of the company's shares.
"I refer to our stock as the pendulum stock, and right now we're on the extreme of the negative pendulum," he says. "No matter what you do in times like this, unless you're showing earnings the stock won't move up in any significant way."
Cel-Sci reported for its second quarter ended March 31 that net income loss shrank 47 percent to $1.9 million (10 cents per share) from $3.6 million (18 cents) a year ago.
The company's earnings, derived from interest income accrued on investments and monies received from various government grants, rose 6 percent to $93,050 from $87,888 a year ago.
To show their confidence in Cel-Sci, Mr. Kersten and the company's president, Maximilian de Clara, purchased some 400,000 Cel-Sci shares in March and April. Other officials at the company bought about 300,000 shares.
"We bought more shares because we believe that the good clinical results recently announced, coupled with the significantly reduced risk that results from that much lower cash expenditures going forward, make Cel-Sci a very attractive investment," the company wrote in a May 20 letter to its shareholders May.
Since January, Cel Sci has cut 14 of its staff of 40. It has also delayed plans to commercialize its products by one to two years, as expenditure cutbacks are slowing down research and development.
Between January and March Cel-Sci cut its operating loss by 68 percent to $1.15 million from $3.63 million a year ago. Meanwhile, research and development costs dropped 206 percent to $933,120 from $2.86 million. Administrative costs were also slashed, by 69 percent, to $252,642 from $813,322.

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