Monday, October 22, 2007

Una Ryan's Biotech Co. to Merge with NJ Company

Avant Immunotherapeutics, the Needham vaccine developer run by Una Ryan, a former chair of the Mass Biotech Council, is merging with a New Jersey company called Celldex Therapeutics. From CNN Money:

    Following completion of the transaction, Avant shareholders will own 42% of the combined company and Celldex shareholders will own the remaining 58% on a fully diluted basis.

    Avant, which plans to effect a reverse stock split as part of the deal in order to maintain its Nasdaq listing, expects the transaction to close in the first quarter of fiscal 2008.

    The combined company is in the process of developing a number of products, including vaccines for cholera and Salmonella typhi, the cause of typhoid fever, as well as a brain cancer immunotherapy. It will also have a commercialized product, Rotarix, an oral vaccine developed in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline. (NYSE:GSK)

Here's the official press release and Webcast about the deal. Ryan remains CEO. Sounds like Celldex's vaccines will now be manufactured at Avant's facility in Fall River, MA.

In August, Avant received a delisting notice from Nasdaq, when its market value fell below $50 million.

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