|Muraca Buys Nuclea Assets, Starts New Company|
|By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff|
02:04PM / Monday, April 24, 2017
|Patrick Muraca, seen in this file photo, is the former CEO of Nuclea Biotechnologies. He has now purchased the assets of his former company.|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Patrick Muraca is picking up where he left off with Nuclea Biotechnologies.
The former CEO has started a new company and purchased the assets of the bankrupt Nuclea. NanoMolecular DX is now based out of Lee and is entering the commercial field with products developed under Nuclea, with many of the same investors, and some of the same employees.
"Now we are moving forward with where Nuclea left off," Muraca said on Friday.
Muraca left Nuclea in 2015, though he was still a shareholder in the company, and attempted to start NanoDX but failed to get it off the ground. About a month later, Nuclea left Pittsfield as part of a reorganization and, in August 2016, filed for bankruptcy.
As part of those proceedings, Nuclea's intellectual assets went to auction in January. Muraca said he placed a bid on them then but it wasn't accepted. Shortly afterward the auctioneers, Heritage Global Partners, reached out to Muraca for a bid. Muraca paid $330,000 for the assets.
"That became available almost a year later from when I left," Muraca said. "I was able to get all of the Nuclea assets back."
Concurrently, Muraca had been purchasing other former Nuclea assets that had been sold to other entities. That gives Muraca and NanoMolecular DX the patents to products he had previously looked to take to the commercial market while still at Nuclea.
"I wanted to move forward with some of the things I left a Nuclea," Muraca said.
Particularly, the Her2/neu kits are of value for Muraca. That was something Nuclea had acquired when the company purchased Wilex DX to give it manufacturing space and products in Cambridge. Wilex DX is one of the largest entities owed in the bankruptcy case.
"The assets were extremely valuable. We spent 11 years developing products," Muraca said.
NanoMolecular opened space on Park Street in Lee, has an office on Elm Street in Pittsfield, and a laboratory at the State University of New York's Poly Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany. Muraca said there are currently five employees, all former Nuclea workers, employed and he expects three more to be added soon.
The company isn't exactly the same as Nuclea, which was mostly a research and development startup before the Wilex DX purchase. Muraca said the new company wouldn't be looking to acquire manufacturing space like it did before but instead will be using third parties to manufacture and sell products. NanoMolecular DX will be doing all of the testing for the products.
"We'll do all of the validation in our laboratory," Muraca said.
The products are kits for medical diagnostics. The focus is to continue with the commercialization of products that Nuclea had ready to take to market.
As for Nuclea, that company had left a trail of unpaid bills in its wake and the bankruptcy filing is still ongoing. Muraca said he doesn't know what happened with Nuclea after he left, believing the company was in a good position when he did. He said he wasn't kept informed about its inner workings.
"I was a shareholder but I have no idea what happened with Nuclea," Muraca said.