Immunicon Corp., a Huntingdon Valley cancer research and diagnostic technology developer, announced today that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Immunicon and its wholly owned subsidiaries signed an asset purchase agreement with Veridex LLC, a Johnson & Johnson company in Warren, N.J., for $31 million.

Immunicon and its subsidiaries will keep their assets and continue to operate as the "debtors-in-possession."

Immunicon and Veridex began partnering in 2000 to develop and market cancer diagnostic products.

Immunicon said it has $9.2 million of assets and $24.3 million of debts, according to the filing, Reuters reported this morning. The case was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Net proceeds will be used to pay creditors, with any remaining money to be distributed to company shareholders.

Immunicon said in a news release that its assets include intellectual property, product inventory and preclinical data, as well as all technologies related to the CellSearch System, a breast cancer test kit that was approved for marketing in December 2006, and other cell research.

The company's stock was delisted from the Nasdaq market in late April and moved to over-the-counter trading in April because it did not meet the minimum of $2.5 million net worth.

Earlier in April, the company announced that it was exploring options that included selling part or all of its businesses.

And in March, Immunicon announced that an arbitrator had ruled against its allegation that Veridex had not properly marketed CellSearch. But in a counterclaim, Veridex was awarded $304,013.

Company shares closed yesterday at $0.27; the price range in the last 52 weeks had been $0.06 to $2.45.