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Decision Biomarkers Closes Down Business, Files for Chapter 7

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This story originally ran on Jan. 6.

Protein biomarker technology firm Decision Biomarkers has closed up shop and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The Waltham, Mass., firm filed on Dec. 22 in US Bankruptcy Court in Boston. On the company's homepage, it said that it had closed its doors as of Dec. 2, 2009. "There are several companies interested in the technology and we are hopeful the business will be reconstituted in the near future," it said.

Unlike Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows a company to reorganize its business while being protected from its creditors, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is generally sought when a firm cannot pay its debts and its creditors.

In documents filed with the court, DB said it had assets of up to $50,000 and liabilities greater than $1 million but less than $10 million. It also listed 90 creditors, including Dana Cancer Farber Institute, Fisher Scientific, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and PerkinElmer.

A meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 20 in bankruptcy court.

Founded in 2003, DB, which originally went by the name Clinical Microarrays, had transitioned from being an R&D shop to a commercial operation in late 2007 with the placement of its Avantra Q400 Biomarker Workstation with an undisclosed drug firm [See PM 12/13/07]. The platform had been in development since the company's creation.

The system was used primarily for biomarker detection. Serum or plasma samples were placed on a biochip containing antibodies and fluorescent dyes. When the dye attached to a detector antibody, the tagged protein glowed.

The chip was then placed inside the Avantra where a charged-coupled device camera took a picture of the glowing antibody. Software then analyzed the light emission and determined which protein had been activated on the chip. Activated proteins indicated disease.

Roger Dowd, the CEO of DB, said at the time that the platform was created for researchers with limited experience using immunoassay platforms.

The company raised $7.5 million in the first round of Series A financing in 2005 and $7.6 million in a second tranche in 2006.

In December 2008, it established its first scientific advisory board, composed of Daniel Chan, Johan de Bono, John Heymach, Peter Maimonis, and Larry Oliver.