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Sequencing-based Pathogen ID Firm PathoGenetix Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – PathoGenetix has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in US Bankruptcy Court District of Massachusetts.

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

PathoGenetix was headquartered in Woburn, Mass., and had developed a genotyping technology called Genome Sequencing Scanning for detecting pathogens in environmental samples. In a court document filed July 23, PathoGenetix said it had about $3.5 million in total assets and $1.4 million in total liabilities.

It listed one creditor with secured claims, HealthCare Ventures, which was an investor in PathoGenetix. The amount on the claim is $33,000, according to the court document.

The number of creditors with unsecured priority claims is seven with a total claim amount of $336,967, and includes its former president and CEO Ann Merrifield, who is claiming about $163,000 in six months of severance and benefits.

About 70 parties are listed as creditors with unsecured nonpriority claims totaling about $1.05 million. They include Life Technologies, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Sigma-Aldrich.

Founded in 1997, PathoGenetix was formerly called US Genomics. As recently as October 2013, the company said that it raised $10 million in a Series C financing round. The same month, a company official told In Sequence that the firm anticipated commercially launching its Resolution Microbial Genotyping System, which was based on the GSS technology, in the third quarter of 2014 with assays to identify and serotype Salmonella and pathogenic E. coli strains.

In April 2013, PathoGenetix signed a deal with the US Food and Drug Administration to evaluate the GSS technology for use in foodborne illness outbreak investigations and response. Last December, PathoGenetix reached a deal with Marshfield Food Safety also to assess the technology.

Most recently, the company contracted with Sparton to design and manufacture pre-commercial instruments for its Resolution platform.