PharmaNetics has hired investment banking firm Davenport & Company as its financial advisor to assist the company in pursuing a potential sale of its manufacturing operations and routine test business, as well as review other strategic alternatives.

Davenport, based in Richmond, VA, previously assisted Raleigh-based PharmaNetics with a private placement of convertible preferred stock that was completed in February 2000.

In December 2003, PharmaNetics announced that, due to legal action against Aventis, it would seek strategic alternatives, including the sale of manufacturing operations. The company also said at the time that if a buyer for the operations was not identified, it planned to terminate its distribution agreement with Bayer Diagnostics.

“As previously announced, our goal is to evaluate strategic opportunities that will enable the company to reduce overhead, preserve cash and keep its technology and manufacturing capability intact, while pursuing its claims against Aventis,” said John Funkhouser, president and CEO of PharmaNetics. “In addition, the company’s board of directors intends to carefully evaluate any strategic opportunity that can maximize shareholder value.”

PharmaNetics filed a lawsuit against Aventis on Nov. 4, 2003, accusing the company of interference, fraud and breach of contract. It also accuses Aventis of improperly promoting Lovenox without also honoring an agreement to promote PharmaNetics’ Enox test, which is used to detect Lovenox’s ability to prevent blood clots.