The board of TruSpine Technologies Plc has survived a shareholder revolt.

Laurence Strauss, who took over as CEO at the end of February, CFO Norman Lott and non-executive directors Annabel Schild and Nik Patel faced a shareholder vote following resolutions to replace them with Todd Michael Cramer, Peter Houghton and Anthony Swoboda.

The shareholders who triggered the vote held 19.4% of shares in the business. The resolutions were defeated.

Based at London Gatwick, the medical device company is focused on the spinal (vertebral) stabilisation market. 

TruSpine is aiming to commercialise Cervi-LOK, a screw-free spinal stabilisation system, in 2023. The device aims to minimise the risk of vertebral artery injury which can cause brainstem stroke or nerve root and spinal cord injury.

However the listed firm cited supply chain issues and external issues around testing as a reason for delays to securing FDA clearance in the United States last year. The company has since been attempting to secure funding to see it through to its first FDA submission, but faced difficulties.

At the end of February, Ian Roberts stepped aside from the CEO role, with Strauss replacing him initially as interim managing director as an emergency loan was brought in. However further bridging loans have failed to materialise, leading to a £100,000 loan agreement with NED Schild.

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TruSpine anticipates receipt of a HMRC R&D tax credit of approximately £200,000 by end of Q2 2023.

“It has been a challenging start, with our board immediately facing a series of complex decisions and a need to restructure,” Strauss said recently. “The current board are held responsible for the decline in the share price: this is a rather odd statement given the monumental decline in the share price that took place since the company’s introduction to the Aquis Stock Exchange in August 2020.”

“Following joining TruSpine as CEO I became aware the company needed to undergo a transition process. I can reassure TruSpine shareholders that we have already made tangible progress.”

Strauss, a non-board appointment, started his career in 1986 working in the City and built a private client broking business before serving as a director of an electrical contracting business and overseeing its expansion. More recently, he has advised private clients on equity investments and initial public offerings.

He added today: “I am pleased to report that all but one of the resolutions tabled by certain shareholders for today’s requisitioned general meeting have been defeated. 

“I hope that as a company we can now draw a line under this matter and move forward so that we can take the necessary steps to realise the potential of our unique product portfolio. I look forward to reporting our progress to shareholders in due course.”

TruSpine’s loss before taxation for the six months to 30th September 2022 was £545k.

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