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Xmark Sends Letters to Icagen's Board of Directors: Questions Company's Leadership as Well as Motives Behind Adoption of Poison Pill
Date:1/20/2009

igher stock price. It was our belief then, as it is now, that the Company would be able to command multiples of its share price. Initially, we were open to the possibility that the Company might be able to create shareholder value through alternate methods, namely strategic partnerships. It was in our effort to gain a balanced view of such partnership possibilities that we first asked to attend a Board meeting. Based on the Company's response, we have been left to conclude that the Company has not adequately pursued all available strategic alternatives and we believe that the CEO may be largely to blame.

Over the course of Dr. Wagoner's long tenure, she has presided over an embarrassingly precipitous loss of share value. While Dr. Wagoner is an accomplished scientist and has played a role in consummating respectable corporate partnerships for Icagen, she does not appear to be respected by the capital markets for her acumen as a chief executive. The Board, which has the duty of overseeing corporate direction and execution, has allowed Dr. Wagoner to remain at the helm in spite of a high profile clinical failure, multiple failed strategic partnerships and a stock price that is closer to zero than it is to a dollar. Just as Dr. Wagoner has been at the helm for over a decade, so too have many of the members of the Board.

The challenges facing the healthcare sector today are unprecedented. As record numbers of biotech hedge funds have imploded or liquidated core positions to stay afloat, capital has dried up. Consequently, the cost of capital has skyrocketed. Companies must act aggressively in order to navigate the market's troubled waters. As the cost of capital rose this year, we believe that the Board did not take adequate steps to reduce the Company's costs. Additionally, given the challenging macro-economic environment, we believe that there was a glaring need for the Board and management to act swiftly with res
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SOURCE Xmark Opportunity Partners, LLC
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