Xenometrix Inc. said Monday it is considering any alternative that would allow the company to stay in business.

The Boulder, Colo., company has proprietary gene-expression profiling technology. As of Sept. 1 it had only $100,000 in cash, which it estimated would last through this week. But a loan from Paramount Capital that totals $1.5 million plus interest is due by Sunday.

"We've discovered what a lot of companies are beginning to discover: A narrowly based technology platform, as good as it is, may not be enough to sustain a company long term," Steve Sullivan, the company's president and CEO, told BioWorld Today. "Our technology can be better leveraged if we are hooked up with a larger partner."

Xenometrix is entertaining licensing and acquisition offers, as well as seeking an extension of the loan. "The company is committed to making licenses available on reasonable terms," Sullivan said. "These are fairly broad patents."

The patents cover the simultaneous expression of genes that indicate four different facets of the homeostasis of the cell. The principal application is in drug safety but there also are applications in efficacy, Sullivan said.

The company has made clear recently that financial crisis was coming. In reporting year-end results on Oct. 1, it said it may have to further curtail or suspend operations if additional revenue was not forthcoming by the end of this week.

Xenometrix is down to nine employees from a high of nearly 50 a few years ago.

On Monday it granted a license for the gene-expression profiling technology to Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md. Terms of that deal were not disclosed. It was the fifth such license Xenometrix has granted, and typically they involve an up-front payment and some royalty consideration, Sullivan said.

The stock (OTC BB:XENO) lost half its value Monday, closing at $0.125, down $0.125. Xenometrix has nearly 3 million shares outstanding.

— Jim Shrine

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