This post has been updated to include information from a Psomagen spokesperson.
Microbiome testing firm uBiome, which declared bankruptcy earlier this year, has sold its patents at auction, Stat News reports.
The firm filed for bankruptcy in September and liquidation in October, as GenomeWeb then reported. The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched an inquiry into the firm's billing practices and searched its offices in April. This lead to a shakeup of the firm's management, as its co-founders and co-CEOs were initially placed on administrative leave and then removed, and the suspension of its vaginal and gut microbiome testing programs.
According to Stat News, Psomagen, a Maryland-based subsidiary of the South Korean firm Macrogen, made the only bid for uBiome's assets, though a spokesperson for Psomagen says there were eight bidders. Psomagen, a genetic sequencing company, also sell gut health tests, Stat News notes.
At Korea Biomedical Review, Psomagen says it is acquiring uBiome's assets — including its patents, proprietary data and samples, and lab equipment — for $7.7 million, which it says is about 1 percent of uBiome's enterprise value. It adds that the sale is preliminary and needs to be approved by a bankruptcy court.
"The acquisition is a great maneuver that allows Psomagen to gain global competitiveness and leadership in the microbiome market," Psomagen CEO Ryan Kim tells the Korea Biomedical Review. "The acquisition has given us a key tool to compete in the fierce microbiome market."