If your biotech penny stock lost momentum in the last 24 hours, your trading platform may have something to do with it.
Investors following two increasingly popular biomed stocks are reacting angrily after Ameritrade's decision to halt trading of American Scientific Resources (OTC:ASFX) and BioElectronics Corporation (OTC:BIEL). Both stocks had been increasing in both volume and price per share in recent days, but got flagged by the widely used securities brokerage service which resulted in customers finding themselves unable to purchase shares.
Some day traders who use the platform, found themselves locked out after trading out of their positions while taking advantage of some of the wild swings that these penny stocks experience. They were reportedly allowed to trade out of the shares, but not allowed to buy back in. Prices for both stocks experienced pull back as investors pushed the panic button amid the confusion.
"It has been known to happen," said one trader who took to posting his frustrations on a popular message board. The day trader was also among the hundreds who flooded the phone lines at Ameritrade on Tuesday afternoon. "If some of these on-line trading companies choose, they can halt trading on a stock for whatever reason. I don't like that they can take away my ability to choose what stocks I feel like trading."
Some customers were told by Ameritrade customer service representatives that the company is reconsidering their policy toward halting some suddenly surging OTC and Pink Sheet listed stocks.
At least where BioElectronics Corporation is concerned, investors are hoping their ability to trade shares resumes sooner rather than later since the company is waiting for some decisions the FDA. At least one analyst has placed a target price on BIEL shares of between $0.30 and $0.50, should the pending FDA clearances be granted. That stock is currently trading at $.06 per share and that news could come any day.
In addition, a company spokesman told BioMedReports that they are on the verge of filing three additional applications with the FDA for indications involving heel/foot pain, surgical recovery, and general musculoskeletal complaints. The company had previously announced that they would be filing only two additional applications, but "stellar" clinical study data involving their drug-free, anti-inflammatory electroni patch technology forced them to consider filing the additional paperwork.
"We remain very confident relative to our FDA applications. We believe we are right on track with the Allay product and we are working diligently to finalize the other filings," commented Andrew Whelan, CEO of BioElectronics. "After reviewing the extremely strong and compelling data from Dr. David Genecov's study, we decided it deserves a separate application, therefore we expect to file at least three more applications instead of only two. "
According to BioElectronics, shareholder interest in their company is highly significant and it resulted in a torrent of telephone calls and e-mails into the Company from investors requesting information, overwhelming their limited staff.
BioElectronics shares were apparently halted on Ameritrade because the company was acting on information from Pink OTC Markets Inc.- a company that provides the interdealer electronic quotation and trading systems in the over-the-counter securities market.
Pink OTC Markets Inc. said they had blocked quotes for BIEL shares from its website after requesting that some additional information about income statements, balance sheets and statements of cash flows for the period ending June 2009 be filed. BIEL's management team says these financial statements outline their recent obtainment of profitability and positive cash flow. The company admitted that their top priority has been in dealing with the FDA and the pending applications and not with the requests from Pink OTC Markets Inc., but that they are now diligently working to provide the additional requested information.
A company spokesman told BioMedReports yesterday that BioElectronics is also working on a plan to move the listing of their stock to another stock exchange and that they will release details to their shareholders over the coming weeks.
American Scientific Resources has not commented on why their shares were halted or what they intend to do about the situation although they did announce that their company has signed a letter of intent to acquire the intellectual property to the Disintegrator home needle destruction device (NDD) (U.S. Patent No. 6,384,362 Patent Application No.: 09/500,504). Upon closing, the company will hold the rights to the patent which is currently the only FDA approved NDD for home use.
Earlier today, BioElectronics released statements about the trading situation and also informed investors that they had completed the important clinical study on heel and foot pain, which was led by David Genecov, M.D. FACS FAAP.
"Our data on heel and foot pain shows strong efficacy and 100% safety using the ActiPatch(R) Therapy device," said Dr. Genecov. "Results for pain reduction are significant as are the data indicating study participants were able to meaningfully reduce their use of pain medication. Our study indicates that ActiPatch's effectiveness, ease-of-use and low cost make it a viable option for the tens of millions of people who suffer from heel and foot pain, including plantar fasciitis. As a physician I am always concerned about the overuse of acetaminophen, narcotics and NSAIDs. Whenever possible our role is to reduce the use of these medications. This study clearly demonstrates that ActiPatch is an effective drug-free tool to control pain."
"We are very excited about the completion of this study, especially the data showing that study participants were able to reduce the amount of pain medication when using ActiPatch therapy. Over the short term we will be using this data to support our upcoming pre-marketing submission to the Food and Drug Administration," commented Andrew Whelan, CEO of BioElectronics. "As the debate relating to over-the-counter pain medications, such as Tylenol(R), continues and as consumers are increasingly leery about taking these drugs, we believe our drug-free solution to pain management and healing will continue to gain in popularity. Considering the strength of this data, and due to the fact that ActiPatch is already approved by the FDA for a different indication, we believe our odds for clearance from the FDA are extremely high."
Shares for ASFX are up 63% in late trading on Wednesday. Manwhile, volume for BIEL is up significantly as investors trading on other platforms have swooped in to buy additional shares at the suddenly discounted prices.
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