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The Japanese drug maker Otsuka has been approved to purchase the assets of bankrupt smart pill maker Proteus Digital Health for $15 million — capping off a spectacular fall for Proteus, which raised close to $500 million and soared to a valuation of $1.5 billion on the promise that its sensor technology could revolutionize how medications are taken and tracked.

The sale, approved on Wednesday by a federal bankruptcy court judge in Delaware after a three-day hearing, overcame the fierce objections of a group of Proteus investors that included the pharma giant Novartis. Those investors opposed Otsuka’s purchase of Proteus because they thought Otsuka, a longtime Proteus investor and partner, was an insider and that Proteus’s assets could go for a higher price had they been divided up and left up for sale for a longer period.


But Otsuka was the only bidder for the assets of Proteus, which in June filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a filing that allowed Proteus to try to reorganize its business structure and pay down its debt without closing completely.

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