Drkoop Seeks Hearing to Block Nasdaq Removal

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Healthcare information provider Drkoop.com yesterday requested a hearing before the Nasdaq exchange's qualifications board to contest the impending removal of its stock listing.

The hearing is scheduled for March 30. The removal of Drkoop's stock listing will be delayed until the hearing. There is no assurance Nasdaq will grant the Santa Monica, CA-based company's request for a continued listing.

In December, the Nasdaq notified Drkoop that its stock had failed to meet the $1 minimum bid requirement for 30 consecutive days and would be removed. Drkoop's stock closed at 25 cents on Wednesday.

Drkoop considered a reverse stock split to increase its stock price and prevent removal of its listing. However, the company decided against the move after several major stockholders voiced opposition.

Instead, Drkoop pursued a cost-cutting policy in an effort to reduce monthly expenses to less than $1 million, down from a high of $8 million in March 2000. It has closed its Austin, TX, office and reduced its staff to 35, down from a high of 185 when the company was founded by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.


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