DURHAM – Durham biotech Novan has filed for bankruptcy and struck a deal to sell most of its assets for $15 million.

Novan (Nasdaq: NOVN) announced the news early Monday before stock markets opened.

Its shares closed Friday at 61 cents, down from a 52-week high of $3.33. Its one-year low was 36 cents.

A month ago, The struggling company cut half its workforce as it began exploring financial options.

The Novan board made the decisions after reviewing the “Company’s challenging financial circumstances and the challenging market climate for similarly situated companies and upon consultation with the Company’s professional advisors,” according to the company’s announcement.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals has agreed to buy Novan’s assets for $15 million.

That company also agreed on July 14 to a $3 million loan to Novan.

Durham pharma Novan slashes 50% of workforce, mulls sale of assets

“The Company continues to operate its business as a ‘debtor-in-possession’ (“DIP”) under the jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy Court and in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Bankruptcy Code and orders of the Bankruptcy Court,” Novan said in the announcement.

Novan also said it would continue to work with the FDA on possible approval for its treatment candidate berdazimer gel designed to treat viral skin conditions.

Moreinformation about the Chapter 11 Case, including access to Bankruptcy Court documents, is available online at www.kccllc.net/novan.