Biovest International, Inc. filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008 along with its parent company Accentia Pharmaceuticals. Burdened with debt topping $47 million, the company remained in bankruptcy for two years trying to restructure all of its debts and obligations, including contracts, overhead costs, and royalties. But while the company struggled through bankruptcy and the attorneys and professionals tackled the debt problems, it freed up the leaders of the business to do the real work of bringing innovative drugs to the market which could potentially save lives.
“Bankruptcy reorganization has been incredibly positive as an experience for us,” Chief Executive Sam Duffy said. “It has allowed us to do things that even if the finance market had not closed and we could have continued going on we would never be where we are today.”
“Along with [bankruptcy] came the opportunity, while we were out of the hustle and bustle of being a public company, to really think about fundamental things that were important to the success of the company,” Duffy said. “I’m not so sure that you can establish a sea change in philosophy in the heat of the battle, but you certainly can do it in reorganization.”
And what is the change that Biovest created during its bankruptcy? Well for one it is working to bring to market a personalize lymphoma cancer vaccine which can purportedly extend the life of a cancer patient for up to two years. Without bankruptcy, this company partnership with the creators of the vaccine might not have been possible. At a time when bankruptcy is still frowned upon in certain circles, we need to remember that it is bankruptcy which makes it possible for struggling companies to rise for the ashes and bring true value to the greater society.