Concerned Shareholder Provides Update and Outlines Additional Concerns
- Concerned Shareholder has been contacted by multiple supportive shareholders as a result of June 1, 2021 press release
- Board and management have failed to deliver on promises of progressing COVID-19 vaccine trials
- IMV has significantly underperformed companies used to benchmark executive compensation
- MARK “WITHHOLD” ON ANDREW SHELDON AND JULIA GREGORY
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, June 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Further to the press release issued June 1, 2021, the concerned shareholder (the “Concerned Shareholder”) of IMV Inc. (“IMV”) issues this press release to provide an update and to outline further concerns with IMV.
Additional shareholder support received
In addition to support from holders of approximately 25% of the outstanding common shares of IMV, there has been outreach to the Concerned Shareholder from numerous other IMV shareholders supporting his call for change. The Concerned Shareholder encourages all dissatisfied voters to vote “withhold” in respect of Sheldon and Gregory at the upcoming IMV annual shareholders meeting to be held on June 18, 2021.
IMV has failed to deliver on promised progress of COVID-19 vaccine
Since March 18, 2020, when IMV announced that it would be developing a vaccine to fight COVID-19, the company has consistently failed to meet its goals of progressing to a human trial:
- On March 30, 2020, IMV announced that its goal was to initiate a human trial “in the summer of 2020”.
- On May 15, 2020, IMV announced that a Phase 1 human study was “expected this summer”.
- On July 14, 2020, IMV claimed “rapid progress on COVID-19 vaccine program” and announced that it planned to commence Phase 1 clinical trials in the summer of 2020 with results in the fall of 2020, and phase 2 clinical trials commencing in the second half of 2020.
- On August 5, 2020, IMV announced that it had received government funding and planned to use that funding with a Phase 1 trial starting summer 2020, with a Phase 2 trial expected to start by end of 2020.
- On August 19, 2020, IMV stated that it was looking forward to reporting preliminary Phase 1 results “later this fall”.
- On October 8, 2020, IMV provided an update on its COVID-19 vaccine program, stating that it had “decided to combine its original Phase 1 and 2 studies into a single trial with the potential to accelerate the clinical development and the timeline of the overall project.” IMV stated that “the Phase 1/2 trial is expected to be initiated before the end of 2020...”
- The outlook was further revised on December 28, 2020, with IMV stating that “the Company is planning to conduct complementary preclinical studies…”
- As of March 17, 2021, IMV was still “conducting complementary preclinical studies, including evaluating the impact of new variants, and will provide an update once these preclinical studies are completed.”
- On May 12, 2021, IMV revised this disclosure to note that it was continuing its preclinical studies “at the request of the Canadian regulatory authorities”.
IMV has provided no further updates regarding the Phase 1/2 studies that were supposed to have been commenced last year, or any other updates regarding its attempts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine since.
IMV’s share price since it first announced plans to develop a COVID-19 vaccine reflects both the initial excitement about that program and the lack of progress since summer 2020:
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/faf65c6a-f322-40a4-8ae1-a9f876e027d8
IMV consistently outperformed by its own selected peer group
As described beginning at page 18 of IMV’s Management Information Circular, IMV retained a compensation consultant to assist the Compensation Committee in reviewing the Directors’ total compensation. That assistance included a benchmarking analysis based on 18 other healthcare research companies, which had market capitalizations at the time of the study, in February 2020, of up to USD $2.042.9 billion.
Since that analysis was performed, IMV’s share price and that of its comparator group have moved in opposite directions:
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/46f7d0b1-acde-4db0-af56-2df4da24e361
Even though IMV has been materially outperformed by its selected comparator group, CEO and CFO cash compensation continue to rise in 2021. IMV’s disconnect between pay and performance must be corrected immediately.
IMV shareholders can join the groundswell pressing for change and better results. Vote “withhold” for Andrew Sheldon and Julia Gregory.
The Concerned Shareholder is Dr. Michael Gross.
The information contained in this press release does not, and is not meant to, constitute a solicitation of a proxy within the meaning of applicable securities laws.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Concerned Shareholder is voluntarily providing the disclosure required under Section 9.2(4) of National Instrument 51-102 – Continuous Disclosure Obligations applicable to public broadcast solicitations.
Any solicitation made by the Concerned Shareholder will be made by them and not by or on behalf of management of IMV. All costs incurred for any such solicitation will be borne by the Concerned Shareholder. Proxies may be solicited by the Concerned Shareholder pursuant to an information circular sent to shareholders after which solicitations may be made by or on behalf of the Concerned Shareholder by mail, telephone, fax, email or other electronic means as well as by newspaper or other media advertising, and in person by directors, officers and employees of the Concerned Shareholder, who may be specifically remunerated therefor. The Concerned Shareholder may also solicit proxies in reliance upon the public broadcast exemption to the solicitation requirements under applicable Canadian securities laws, including through press releases, speeches or publications, and by any other manner permitted under applicable Canadian laws. The Concerned Shareholder may engage the services of one or more agents and authorize other persons to assist in soliciting proxies on its behalf, which agents would receive customary fees for such services. If Concerned Shareholder commence any solicitation of proxies, proxies may be revoked by an instrument in writing by a shareholder giving the proxy or by its duly authorized officer or attorney, or in any other manner permitted by law. None of the Concerned Shareholders nor, to their knowledge, any of their associates or affiliates, has any material interest, direct or indirect, by way of beneficial ownership of securities or otherwise, in any matter proposed to be acted upon at the Meeting. IMV’s head office is located at 130 Eileen Stubbs Avenue, Suite 19, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B3B 2C4.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements contained in this filing that are not clearly historical in nature or that necessarily depend on future events are forward-looking, and the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “expect,” “estimate,” “plan,” and similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of the Concerned Shareholders and currently available information. They are not guarantees of future performance, involve certain risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict, and are based upon assumptions as to future events that may not prove to be accurate. The Concerned Shareholders do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, except as required by applicable law.
Dr. Michael Gross