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Genetic test maker Invitae prepares for bankruptcy - WSJ

(Reuters) -Genetic test maker Invitae is preparing to file for bankruptcy within weeks, the Wall Street Journal reported onMonday, according to people familiar with the matter.

Shares of the San Francisco-based company tumbled 69% to hit a record low of 11 cents after the report. An Invitae spokesperson told Reuters that the company did not comment on market rumors and speculation and said the Board of Directors had formed a special committee in November to improve its capital structure. The Softbank-backed company is working with FTI Consulting and law firm Kirkland & Ellis to explore strategic options, including bankruptcy, to address $1.5 billion of debt on its balance sheet, according to the report.In a regulatory filing in November, the company had flagged concerns about its ability to stay afloat. Invitae said it needed to secure additional funding to support ongoing operations or to address its debt obligations. The company provides genetic testing services for various diseases and cancers in and outside the United States.

SoftBank and law firm Kirkland & Ellis did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment, FTI Consulting declined to comment.

(Reporting by Pratik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Tasim Zahid)