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drkoop.com's Long and Winding Road

drkoop.com, Inc., which since August 2001 has tried to divorced itself from any association of its dot-com heritage by doing business as Dr. Koop LifeCare, disclosed late Sunday that it has met the same fate as many of its start-up brethren.

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company, which was named for the former Surgeon General of the U.S., announced it is ceasing operations and will liquidate its assets under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

In a brief statement, the company said its efforts to obtain additional financing and sell assets have not been successful. The present financial condition precludes it from meeting operating obligations necessary to operate as a going concern.

But it's not the first time that drkoop.com sought a shot of financial adrenaline. On Aug. 22, a new round of investors arrived with $20 million in equity financing at the 11th-hour to rescue the ailing online health company from certain collapse. That month, the stock was delisted from the Nasdaq -- a sharp contrast from July 1999 when the stock hit its all-time high of $45.75 following its June 8, 1999, IPO at $9 per share.

In August 2000, the company slashed its workforce to try to help turn things around. But the restructuring just didn't seem to work and the layoffs never abated. Further cuts came in January 2001 when the company closed the doors of its office in Austin, Texas.

Under Chapter 7, a trustee will be appointed to liquidate the assets. The proceeds applied to the claims of creditors of the company. Shareholders are not expected to receive any proceeds from the liquidation.