Could there be light at the end of the bankruptcy tunnel for Cetero Research? After almost three months of deliberations in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, a bid has been accepted toward the sale of the North Carolina CRO.
Earlier this month, Cetero's secured creditors--which include CRSI Holdings and BC Ltd.--filed a stalking horse bid of about $80 million to be used as a benchmark for an auction in which other companies could bid on the CRO. The bid was formally approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin J. Carey on May 17, due to the lack of auction bids before the May 11 deadline, according to Law360.
As new ownership begins to take form, Cetero should see half of its debt cleared and $5 million or so in liquidity, the legal publication states. As for what its financial future has in store will remain unknown to the general public--the CRO successfully petitioned to have financial projections sealed.
The CRO's journey to this point has been rocky. Months before Cetero filed for bankruptcy protection in March, the FDA accused Cetero of falsifying data from studies conducted at its Houston lab. The two entities reached an agreement in April after Cetero reviewed and resolved more than 1,000 unconfirmed studies, but some drug trial sponsors will need to repeat or reanalyze work as a result. Bankruptcy protection proceedings have also been dicey, as unsecured creditors called the bidding process "seriously flawed," while at least three biotech companies filed objections arguing that the CRO should pay up for substandard clinical work. Still, Cetero picked up three new research projects and has been hiring at all of its laboratories, a Cetero spokeswoman told FierceCRO in March.
Barring interruption, the purchase will become finalized sometime in June.
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