Statera Biopharma explores merger with California life-sciences firm

FORT COLLINS — Statera Biopharma Inc., a struggling clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to merge with California-based diagnostic testing company Worksite Labs Inc.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Statera said details would be forthcoming when definitive agreements are reached.

“We believe the proposed merger could enhance shareholder value and strengthen the company’s operating performance,” Statera CEO Michael Handley said in a prepared statement. “The business model and mission of Worksite Labs aligns with our current strategies to diagnose and identify patients for treatment and increase shareholder value. “Furthermore, we look forward to working with our WSL colleagues to move the proposed transaction forward.”

The potential merger comes after a turbulent 2022 for the Fort Collins biotech firm. Last year, multiple board members resigned, the company was dropped by its accounting firm, it was delisted from the Nasdaq for violating the bid price rule, $4.8 million in cash was foreclosed by a creditor, and it was forced to sell its production rights for several drugs. 

In 2022, numerous creditors, including contractors and former employees, also filed a petition to force Statera into bankruptcy as they seek to recover nearly $8 million. Most recently, the bankruptcy judge presiding over the case continued a March scheduling conference between the parties to April. 

Should the deal with Worksite Labs come to fruition, the merged company is “expected to continue to carry on the business of WSL as a premier, full-service diagnostic testing company that generated 2022 revenues of over $50 million,” the companies said. 

Source: BizWest

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