Employees file petition against Sicel in bankruptcy court

Five employees of  Morrisville, NC-based Sicel Technologies have filed a petition in a bankruptcy court seeking to force the company into Chapter 7 liquidation. They are seeking more than $16,000 in vacation pay and other unreimbursed expenses, the Triangle Business Journal reports.

The petition was filed Tuesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The court officially notified Sicel that it has 21 days to submit an answer to the Chapter 7 filing, the Business Journal reports.

Dr. Charles Scarantino, chairman of Sicel, which was founded in 1999 and is focused on developing treatments for cancer, confirmed in a phone interview that he received the petition Tuesday morning. He emphasized that it does not mean that the company is going into bankruptcy and declined further comment.

The suit comes as Sicel announced layoffs of an undisclosed number of employees after unsuccessfully trying to raise at least $20 million in new funding for more than a year, the News and Observer reports. The company had 34 employees before the layoffs, but the company declined to say how many employees were let go.

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