Sicel names McDaniel interim president, avoids bankruptcy

Paul McDaniel, one of a group of five Sicel Technologies employees who had sought to force the company into involuntary Chapter 7 liquidation, has been named interim president of the Morrisville, NC-based devicemaker. In a short statement, the company announced McDaniel's appointment and that it has not been placed into involuntary bankruptcy. Several employees who had previously been furloughed also have returned to work.

Sicel has raised about $33 million in six rounds of funding. However, as the Triangle Business Journal notes, it has run into a cash crunch as a $20 million fundraiser launched more than a year ago failed to generate traction with investors.  The company was founded in 1999 and is focused on developing treatments for cancer,

Last month, McDaniel and four other Sicel employees filed a petition in a bankruptcy court seeking to force the company into Chapter 7. They also sought more than $16,000 in vacation pay and other unreimbursed expenses, the Triangle Business Journal reported at the time. McDaniel has served as Sicel's executive VP of operations and quality, according to the company's website.

McDaniel testified in court that board member Jonathan Gelles, chairman and founder of a London company that helps life sciences companies raise money, has lent Sicel roughly $12 million and that his decisions regarding fundraising are influenced by his desire to be repaid, the News & Observer reports. He added that the senior management team believes it could find a solution to the company's funding needs but Gelles "won't let us"--a charge Gelles denied.

- see Sicel's statement
- get more from the Triangle Business Journal
check out the story from the News & Observer