The San Francisco biopharmaceutical company on Feb. 16 is set to appear before Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington to request permission to make the payouts.
In a Tuesday, Jan. 26, motion, the debtor sought authority to implement a key employee retention plan that would pay eight workers up to $378,000 in bonuses over the next year. KaloBios said that given the highly competitive nature of its industry and the well-publicized ousting of Shkreli from the company, the bonuses are necessary.
"The debtor believes that this employee bonus plan is necessary given the extraordinary demands and stress being placed on the debtor's employees as a result of recent events and the debtor's restructuring effort," the motion said. "Further, although relatively modest, the program sends the appropriate signals of confidence and appreciation to the debtor's employees and is designed to incentivize the debtor's employees to remain with the debtor during this challenging period."
KaloBios did not identify the employees that would be subject to the bonus plan. The company, however, noted none of its employees are affiliated with Shkreli or his Turing Pharmaceuticals and said none of the payments would go to him or his family members.
Selber on Jan. 12 gave KaloBios permission to continue certain employee programs and pay prepetition obligations related to paid time off and business expenses.
The company submitted its Chapter 11 petition on Dec. 29.
KaloBios, which focuses on developing cancer treatments, blamed its filing on a number of disruptive events that have hampered its ability to address its liquidity concerns and implement an out-of-court restructuring. Among those disruptive events was Shkreli's Dec. 17 arrest -- and the subsequent negative publicity -- which the company feels distracted it from an out-of-court restructuring effort that included slashing its workforce by 61% in November.
"The debtor intends to make use of the breathing spell afforded it by the imposition of the automatic stay to further evaluate its strategic alternatives with input from its various stakeholders and to develop and implement a revised restructuring plan," the company said in a Dec. 29 court filing.
Shkreli and others acquired 70% of KaloBios after it announced in November that one of its key drugs failed in a crucial trial. Shkreli was tapped to be CEO on Nov. 19.
Before the investment, KaloBios had been struggling. In an Aug. 10 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, KaloBios said its lack of revenue and operating losses raised substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.
The FBI arrested Shkreli for wire and securities conspiracy and securities fraud in connection with Retrophin (RTRX - Get Report) , a biopharma company he founded, at his midtown Manhattan apartment on Dec. 17 after a seven-count indictment was unsealed.
Following Shkreli's arrest, Nasdaq suspended trading in KaloBios' stock, freezing shares at $23.59. (On Dec. 29, the company announced that it had appealed a delisting one day earlier. A hearing on the appeal is set for Feb. 25.)
KaloBios said Shkreli had resigned from its board, along with Tony Chase, who gained a seat in the takeover, on Dec. 21. David Moradi and Marek Biestek were appointed at the same time as Shkreli and Chase, but the company made no announcement about them. Moradi is associated with hedge fund Anthion Partners, and an Anthion vehicle is an investor in KaloBios as well. Moradi and Anthion hold a nearly 14% stake in KaloBios.
In the SEC's Dec. 17 civil complaint against Shkreli, his now-defunct hedge funds MSNB Capital Management and MSNB Healthcare, and Evan Greebel, the agency alleged Shkreli misappropriated $120,000 from Retrophin for his own use and to make payments to disgruntled MSNB investors.
Following his arrest, Shkreli resigned as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, another privately held biotechnology company that he founded. In September, controversy swirled around Shkreli when Turing raised the price of Daraprim, a treatment for parasitic infection and a drug used by some AIDS patients, from $13.50 a pill to $750 after acquiring the 62-year-old drug in August.
Two congressional investigations are under way over price gouging in the pharmaceutical industry, including the repricing of Daraprim.
In its petition, KaloBios reported $8.37 million in assets and $1.94 million in liabilities.