(Recasts, adds details)
June 11 Immunicon Corp IMMC.OB filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday and agreed to
sell almost all of its assets to a Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N)
unit for $31 million, the companies said.
Immunicon sought protection from creditors with the U.S.
bankruptcy court in Delaware. It said it has $9.2 million of
assets and $24.3 million of debts, according to the filing.
The assets to be bought include intellectual property,
product inventory and clinical data, and technologies related
to Immunicon's cancer test CellSearch, the companies said.
In March, Immunicon lost an arbitration with J&J unit
Veridex in which the company alleged the unit did not devote
"best efforts" to market CellSearch. Both have been partners
for various products since 2000.
Following the decision, Immunicon said it would cut 40
percent of its full-time staff. In April, the company said it
had retained Stifel, Nicolaus & Co to advise on strategic
alternatives including a possible sale.
Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania-based Immunicon said net
proceeds from the asset sale will first be used to pay
creditors and any remaining proceeds will be distributed to
stockholders of the company on a pro rata basis.
The deal is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court and
is not expected to require anti-trust review or shareholder
approval, Veridex said in a separate news release.
Immunicon shares lost more than half of their value and
were at 13 cents in Bulletin Board morning trading, Reuters
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel and Varsha Tickoo in Bangalore;
Editing by Deepak Kannan, Vinu Pilakkott)