New York-Based SIGA Technologies, Inc. Files For Bankruptcy
Published: Sep 17, 2014
September 16, 2014
By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
SIGA Technologies, Inc. announced Tuesday that it had filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
SIGA specializes in developing therapeutics for some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens, including variola (smallpox), Ebola, dengue, Lassa fever and others. The New York-based firm is currently committed to delivering Tecovirimat, an antiviral smallpox drug, to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile despite the bankruptcy filing. The Tecovirimat contract is part of the Project BioShield Act of 2004, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARTA).
In 2006, PharmAthene, which develops biological and chemical defense products, took SIGA to court, claiming it should share in up to $5 billion in potential sales, primarily from government contracts for Tecovirimat, also known as ST-246. PharmAthene argued that it had partially funded Tecovirimat’s development and that SIGA failed to meet its obligations to grant a licensing agreement.
A 2011 ruling found that SIGA did not negotiate in good faith over the licensing. In a May 2013 appeal decision, the court upheld SIGA’s liability. SIGA lawyers had argued that the licensing negotiations were never completed and existing documents, as a result, were non-binding.
To date, SIGA has provided 1.3 million doses of Tecovirimat to the U.S. government and will soon delivery another 700,000. In its court filings, the company indicated assets of $209.5 million and a debt of $197.9 million. It has about 35 employees and a research facility in Corvalis, Ore.
SIGA indicates that the chapter 11 filing will allow them to continue to supply Tecovirimat while still able to try another appeal over the PharmAthene lawsuit.
“Enforcement of the expected judgment of the Court of Chancery,” said Eric Rose, SIGA’s chairman and chief executive officer, “would threaten SIGA’s viability, its ability to produce and deliver our smallpox drug, Tecovirimat, and its critical role in Project BioShield. We remain committed to performing under SIGA’s contract with BARDA, obtaining FDA approval for Tecovirimat, and growing our company."
The company said it has adequate liquidity to conducts its operations and satisfy all of its contractual commitments, while pursuing its appellate rights. occurred in Somalia in 1977. The disease has essentially been eradicated from the planet due to an extensive and aggressive vaccination campaign. The virus itself exists in two known repositories,
The last known case of smallpox occurred in Somalia in 1977. The disease has essentially been eradicated from the planet due to an extensive and aggressive vaccination campaign. The virus itself exists in two known repositories, one at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia and at the Russian State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology in Koltsovo, Siberia, near Novosibirsk.
Concerns about terrorists potentially having access to unidentified sources of the virus, as well as the 2001 anthrax bioterror attacks, led to Project BioShield and government-led efforts to develop and maintain treatments for the disease.