"sure thing" may be overstatIng things but I don't see tis shelf as bad. It looks to me like the company may want some flexibility when partnership negotiations come around.
I'd consider a shelf offering bad news if a company had no near term drivers and was running out of cash. They are often part of the death spiral tiny companies go through as executives and insiders try to extract every last cent before it goes bust. The lending facility shorts the company before and after the discounted purchases (they'll call it hedging) and the shareholders' dilution finds it's way into the salaries and bonuses of management.
This shelf offering has nothing in common with that dreaded scenario. This company is an excellent 3-5 year bet.