Pfizer is expected today to win U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval for its acquisition of substantially all of BIND Therapeutics assets—for which the pharma giant placed the highest bid of $40 million at a court-authorized auction.

The Court is set to hold a hearing today on approval of Pfizer’s bid, BIND disclosed yesterday. NanoCarrier emerged as the back-up bidder in the auction held Monday and yesterday under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Pfizer’s bid is about double its approximately $20 million cash “stalking horse” bid, for which the pharma giant agreed to acquire substantially all BIND assets—a bid BIND disclosed on July 1. Two additional bidders emerged as qualified to participate in the auction.

Pfizer is one of BIND’s pharma collaboration partners in developing and commercializing a new class of highly selective targeted and programmable therapeutics called Accurins™. Pfizer and BIND launched their up-to-$210 million collaboration in April 2013, and last year extended the partnership by agreeing to apply BIND’s Accurin technology to optimize the therapeutic potential of two oncology drugs in Pfizer’s pipeline.

In addition to Pfizer, BIND has collaborations to develop Accurins ongoing with AstraZeneca, Roche, Merck & Co., Macrophage Therapeutics (a subsidiary of Navidea Biopharmaceuticals), Synergy Pharmaceuticals, PeptiDream, and Affilogic.

NanoCarrier on July 23 confirmed its participation in the auction, citing the potential for expanding its pipeline and acquiring BIND’s technology: “Further, we think this could enable the securing of operation centers and human resources in the U.S., strengthening our business overseas, particularly in the U.S.”

BIND filed for Chapter 11 protection on May 1 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The case (16-11084) has been before the bankruptcy court’s Chief Judge Brendan L. Shannon.

The Chapter 11 filing came after lender Hercules Technology III demanded accelerated repayment of $14.5 million it said was due under an outstanding loan to BIND. “Our current cash and assets exceed the loan amount, and we are current on our regularly scheduled repayment obligations,” BIND President and CEO Andrew Hirsch stated at the time.

In January, Hirsch was among executives of biotechs engaged in bioproduct R&D or biomanufacturing who discussed their product or technology focus, along with their strategy, at a GEN Roundtable panel held during the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

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