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BioSpecifics Technologies working to fill board seat to meet Nasdaq rules

BioSpecifics Technologies Corp., the best performer among the 30 stocks in the Newsday Long Island Bloomberg Index in 2014, is interviewing candidates to fill an empty seat on its board of directors to return to compliance under Nasdaq Stock Market rules, the company's top executive said.

The Lynbrook company fell out of conformity with Nasdaq rules after the death in October of Max Link, 74, who had just been appointed to the board of directors in August. He had served as chair of the compensation committee and financial expert of the audit committee.

President Thomas Wegman said he hopes to fill the vacancy more quickly than taking the maximum one-year limit allowed by Nasdaq from the time of vacancy.

"We're interviewing candidates," he said Tuesday. "We want a good one."

Nasdaq rules require the replacement of members of the audit committee and the maintenance of a board with a majority of independent directors.

Since Link's death, the board has included three directors deemed independent -- Dr. Paul Gitman, Michael Schamroth and George Gould -- and three with ties to management, Thomas Wegman and Wegman's brother, Mark Wegman, and stepmother, Toby Wegman.

Shares of BioSpecifics rose 75.6 percent in 2014 and have been flat so far in 2015 despite a broad-based sell-off in equities. The stock closed up 43 cents at $39.07 Wednesday in Nasdaq trading.

BioSpecifics, with five employees, has developed injectable enzymes that break down collagen, a fibrous protein that can build up and cause Dupuytren's contracture, a hand deformity where fingers are frozen in a curved position, and other conditions.

The company operates under a partnership agreement with Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc., which generates almost all revenue through manufacturing and marketing agreements. In October Endo International PLC, based in Dublin, agreed to acquire Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania-based Auxilium for about $2.6 billion.

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