U.S. biotech firm Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court on Monday and said it has agreed to sell most of its assets to Sloan Holdings CV for about $55 million.
The agreement with Sloan, a unit of US WorldMeds LLC, would serve as a "stalking horse" bid in a court-supervised auction of Savient's assets, the company said in a statement.
A stalking horse bid serves as the minimum offer for the business, which could still be topped by others.
The drugmaker, which has been under pressure from its largest creditor to liquidate, said it would keep its gout drug Krystexxa commercially available in the United States.
Krystexxa, which treats chronic gout in adults who do not respond to conventional therapy, has had disappointing sales since its launch in September 2010.
Savient listed total assets of about $74 million and liabilities of $260 million as of June 30, court documents filed on Monday showed.
Shares of the company, which have fallen 47 percent this year, closed at 57 cents on Monday on the Nasdaq.
The case is In re: Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 13-12680.
(Reporting by Aman Shah in Bangalore; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)