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Contract Research Files Bankruptcy With Plan to Sell Assets

Contract Research Solutions Inc., the pharmaceutical clinical-trial provider also known as Cetero Research, sought bankruptcy protection with a plan to sell its assets to lenders after an investigation by federal regulators.

The company, based in Cary, North Carolina, had assets of about $205 million and debt of about $248 million as of Feb. 29, according to Chapter 11 papers filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

Cetero agreed to sell its assets to lenders in exchange for secured debt and the assumption of liabilities, Chief Financial Officer Michael Murren said in court papers. The company will obtain a $15 million credit line to help finance the restructuring, he said.

The company faces “considerable costs” from re-testing ordered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration following an investigation into allegations that some data recorded by company chemists may have been inaccurate, Murren said.

Affiliates that also filed bankruptcy petitions include Allied Research Holdings Inc., Allied Research International, BA Research Co., Gateway Medical Research Inc., and PRACS Institute Ltd.

Under the sale agreement, bidding procedures must be approved by April 12, followed by an auction between April 30 and May 5. The sale must be approved by May 10.

Cetero’s operations are in North Dakota, Florida, Missouri, Texas and Ontario.

The case is In re Contract Research Solutions Inc., 12-bk-11004, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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