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Statera Biopharma faces involuntary bankruptcy petition

FORT COLLINS — Statera Biopharma Inc. (Nasdaq: STAB) was served last month with a petition from its creditors to involuntarily force the company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to documents filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver.

In the petition, creditors are seeking to recover about $7.73 million in total.

The creditors in the initial petition are Noreen Griffin, Stephen Wilson and Peter Aronstam, who are claiming a total of $2.09 million in unpaid wages and severance.

The petition was followed by several additional joinders by other creditors, including:

  • More former employees seeking about $2.5 million in unpaid wages and severance.
  • Consultants seeking about $217,000 in unpaid consulting fees.
  • Two other pharmaceutical companies, Immune Therapeutics Inc. and Latitude Pharmaceuticals Inc., seeking about $2.93 million in unpaid intellectual property licensing fees.

In the petition, the creditors allege that Statera “is generally not paying its debts as they come due.”

Statera had struggled through 2022 so far. Multiple board members resigned, the company was dropped by its accounting firm, it faced delisting from the Nasdaq for violating the bid price rule, $4.8 million in cash were foreclosed by a creditor who is not party to this petition, and it was forced to sell its production rights for several drugs. 

In an answer to the petition filed earlier this week, Statera denied the amount and validity of the creditors’ claims, asserted that it regularly pays its debts and requested that the bankruptcy petition be dismissed.

The company also requested that, if the court finds that the petition was filed in bad faith, “Statera requests a trial on the amount of damages proximately caused by such filing and/or punitive damages.”

Lawyers for Statera and its creditors did not respond to requests for comment. The case is No. 22-13051-JGR, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Denver.

Source: BizWest