NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – NanoMolecular DX, a firm headed by Nuclea Biotechnologies' former Founder and CEO Patrick Muraca has agreed to purchase the bankrupt company's assets for $330,000.
The deal, which was signed March 29, comes after Nuclea's assets failed to sell at auction in January. Nuclea filed a voluntary Chapter 7 petition in US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Aug. 30, 2016. According to filings, the company had at that time $235,144 in assets and debts of $9.6 million.
NanoMolecular DX was launched by Muraca in April 2016 and, he said, plans to use nanotechnologies for the development of diagnostics for cancer and other diseases, though he did not describe which specific nanotechnologies the company would use. More immediately, the company aims to commercialize its Her2/neu assay, a blood-based test for monitoring women with metastatic breast cancer that overexpress the HER2/neu protein. The assay is the most prominent of the Nuclea assets it acquired in the recent purchase.
Nuclea obtained the Her2/neu assay through its 2013 purchase of Wilex AG subsidiary Wilex Inc. Under the terms of that deal, Nuclea purchased all of Wilex Inc.'s assets, which included the Her-2/neu assay and additional assays for measuring carbonic anhydrase IX, or CAIX. Nuclea also assumed responsibility for repayment of a $2.5 million loan between Wilex Inc. and Wilex AG and was required to make to Wilex AG single-digit royalty payments on net sales of the HER2/neu and CAIX assays.
According to Nuclea's bankruptcy filing, Wilex AG was Nuclea's largest creditor, owed $2.7 million. In October, Wilex AG filed a motion seeking transfer of Nuclea's bankruptcy case to Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court and indicated that it might pursue additional actions, including investigation of members of Nuclea's former management team and attempting to obtain payment from Nuclea spin-out, NanoDX, which launched last year with Muraca as president.
Inquiries to Wilex's counsel about whether they were still considering such actions were not returned.
With regard to NanoDX, Muraca said that the company shut down shortly after its launch when Nuclea failed to raise needed funding. The company had been a part of New York State's START-UP NY incubator program that offered tax incentives to firms locating in the state. The state announced in 2015 that NanoDX had committed to creating 15 new jobs and investing $265,000 and would locate at the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.
Muraca said that NanoMolecular DX was entirely separate from Nuclea and NanoDX. The company has raised around $1 million from around 16 investors to fund the purchase of Nuclea's assets and other activities, he said, adding that he hopes to raise an additional $3 million to $5 million over the next year.
More than two-thirds of the company's investors are former Nuclea investors, he said. While Nuclea generated little in the way of commercial assets over its 12-year history, the firm was effective at raising money, securing total investments of more than $40 million, according to company statements.
Muraca said Nuclea did generate around $1 million in revenues from sales of the Her2/neu assay. He said that NanoMolecular DX planned to sell the test through partnerships with larger diagnostics companies.
The company is headquartered in Lee, Massachusetts and rents lab space at SUNY Poly in Albany.