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This Tiny Biotech Firm Is Weighing An Entrance Into Cannabis

Alex Oleinic

Akers Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKER)'s stock was trending on Benzinga Pro Tuesday, with shares of the microcap trading on 40-percent higher than average volume.

The stock's decline — it was down 11.7 percent at $1.54 at the time of publication Tuesday — follows the 42.28-percent jump the shares registered Monday following an announcement that the company could enter the cannabis industry.

What Is Akers?

Akers Biosciences develops and manufactures rapid screening and testing products for health care providers and consumers.

The company has three product lines, with the flagship being the Particle ImmunoFiltration Assay line that tests for target antigens or antibodies. In the third quarter, the product generated sales of $567,300, up 16 percent on the year.

The company's total revenue for the third quarter amounted to $557,100 due to negative revenue registered by its MicroParticle Catalyzed Biosensor, a detector of biomarkers in breath condensate. Earlier this year, Akers settled a lawsuit and had to repurchase the remaining inventory of OxiChek products that are part of the MPC line.

What Do They Want To Do With Cannabis?

On Nov. 7, Akers announced a 1-for-8 reverse stock split to remain compliant with NASDAQ's requirements and keep its stock listed above $1 per share. The company said its board was conducting a process to evaluate strategic alternatives to increase shareholder value.

Investors jumped into the stock and drove its price higher following an announcement Monday that it's considering entering the cannabis space. It's worth noting that 

Akers said it's considering a number of alternatives, including potential combinations with cannabis-related businesses. Some members of its board attended the MJBizCon cannabis conference in Las Vegas last week, where they met with a number of companies. In addition, Akers hired Feuerstein Kulick LLP as a legal advisor.

Akers said there's no certainty that the process to find strategic alternatives will result in a transaction or other moves.

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