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Published March 26, 2012, 09:23 PM

Cetero Research Declares Bankruptcy

WILMINGTON, Del. – Cetero Research, the North Carolina-based pharmaceutical company with a research lab in Fargo, filed for bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court here on Monday.

By: Sam Benshoof, Forum Communications

WILMINGTON, Del. – Cetero Research, the North Carolina-based pharmaceutical company with a research lab in Fargo, filed for bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court here on Monday.

Also known as Contract Research Solutions Inc., the company had assets of about $205 million and debt of about $248 million as of Feb. 29, according to its Chapter 11 papers.

Chief Financial Officer Michael Murren said in the documents that the need for the bankruptcy filing stemmed from an investigation started in 2009 into records falsifications at one of the company’s research labs in Texas.

As a result of that investigation, the Food and Drug Administration ordered in 2011 that some of the clinical studies in question be re-tested, which resulted in “considerable costs to Cetero,” Murren wrote in the filing.

Cetero is in the process of financial restructuring, documents state, and the company has secured a $15 million credit line to assist it with that process.

It’s unclear from the documents what effect the filing will have on the Fargo facility, which has 400 employees and 544 beds for drug test subjects.

PRACS Institute, one of the affiliates that combined to form Cetero in 2006 and also filed a bankruptcy petition Monday, was started in Fargo in 1983 by James Carlson, a former professor at North Dakota State University.

Carlson was unable to be reached for comment Monday night.

Calls to the Fargo research lab went unanswered.

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