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Robert Overell
PhaseRX CEO Robert Overell. (PhaseRX Photo)

Seattle biotech company PhaseRX is being bought by multinational drug commercialization company Roivant Sciences, according to an SEC filing. Roivant will pay $800,000 for “substantially all of [PhaseRX’s] assets” and will take on the company’s debt, the filing says.

Roivant will repay millions in debt that PhaseRX owed to Hercules Capital at the time of its bankruptcy and will retain the right to continue developing the company’s leading drug candidate, according to court filings.

Neither company immediately responded to requests for comment on the news.

PhaseRX broke an unprecedented IPO drought in Seattle with its $18.5 million initial public offering in 2016, but a rapid decline led it to proclaim bankruptcy in December.

The company develops treatments for children with rare, life-threatening liver defects. Just a year ago, the FDA gave its first drug candidate Orphan Drug Status, basically a ticket for the fast lane through FDA approval. At the time, trials for the drug were set to begin in 2018 and PhaseRX had a market value of $61 million.

Since then, the company fell below the $2.5 million stockholder equity required by the Nasdaq stock exchange and was under threat of being booted from the public market.

When it filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 11, the company reported just $4.1 million in assets and $1.8 million in cash or cash equivalents. It has $5.6 million in debts, including owing $5.2 million to Hercules Capital.

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