Dynavax says auditors concerned about its finances

Dynavax Technologies Corp. said March 16 that its auditors have expressed doubts about the company's ability to continue as a going concern as a result of the company's current financial position, according to Reuters.

The company also said it expects to submit a regulatory application for the approval of its experimental hepatitis B vaccine in the third quarter of 2011.

Dynavax said it has completed enrollment for a late-stage study of the vaccine, Heplisav, and expects immunization of all 2,000 people with the vaccine will be completed in the "near future."

Hepatitis B is a chronic disease, which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. There is no cure for the condition.

On March 15 Dynavax said it would get $4 million from Merck & Co. to cover expenses related to a termination of collaboration between the two companies.

The Food and Drug Administration posted a hold on Heplisav in March 2008 because of safety concerns and Merck ended the collaboration the following December.

The FDA released the hold in September.

The company reported $36.7 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents as of Dec. 31. The year-end cash figure does not include the Merck payment as it was announced this week, the company said.