The proposed merger between T Cell Sciences Inc. and Virus Research Institute Inc. is designed to create a company with a broader pipeline and better access to bankers, analysts and fund managers who have market cap floors that define their universe of companies. However, the deal brings neither company closer to late stage clinical trials, nor does it obviate the need for the new company, called Avant Immunotherapeutics Inc., to raise more money this year.

Before the agreement, "my goals were to move the company beyond a $100 million market cap and a stock price of $5," said Una Ryan, TCEL's president and CEO who will retain the same titles at Avant.