A Dartmouth biotech company developing immunity-based cancer treatments has entered creditor protection to give it "breathing room" to sell the business or its assets.

IMV — known as Immunovaccine Technologies — disclosed Monday the Nova Scotia Supreme Court has granted an interim order giving it protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.

The company says it will seek court approval to sell the business or its assets  — namely the cancer treatments.

Trading in company shares has been halted on the Toronto Stock Exchange and NASDAQ capital market.

In its release, the company said it was difficult to raise money.

"Despite the growing industry enthusiasm surrounding cancer vaccines and its encouraging clinical trial results, there are limited opportunities to raise additional capital in the current market conditions and IMV was unable to identify a suitable solution available in the near term," the release said.

In the statement, CEO Andrew Hall said creditor protection was the best available option given market conditions.

"I sincerely regret the impact the restructuring of our business will have on our valued stakeholders," he said. "This has been an incredibly difficult decision, but a necessary one to ensure the best outcome for our promising technology and stakeholders."

The company's Dartmouth headquarters and laboratories remain open in a limited capacity. Its clinical trials will "pause enrollment, pending the outcome of the review of strategic alternatives," according to the release.

IMV said it had enough drug supply to ensure patients already in screening or enrolled in ongoing trials before May 1 will be able to receive treatment.

The company has received more than $5 million in federal assistance since 2020.

On its website, IMV says "we are committed to creating and developing immunotherapies that are effective in treating cancer while preserving patients' quality of life."

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