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Apr 9, 2008

VaxGen Restructures in Wake of Unsuccessful Merger Attempt with Raven

  • VaxGen has been forced to restructure its resources yet again this time due to the failed merger with Raven biotechnologies. VaxGen plans to terminate approximately 75% of its remaining staff of 22 people.

    Since December 2006, VaxGen has implemented a series of job cuts because of the HHS canceling the firm’s anthrax vaccine contract. Last week’s decision by VaxGen and Raven to mutually end their merger agreement because of strong opposition from VaxGen stockholders was another spoke in the company’s wheel. The initial deal was made in November 2007 and would have given VaxGen's shareholders about 51% of the combined entity.

    VaxGen's says that its near-term plan is to reduce staffing and expenses to reflect the realities of not merging with Raven as well as continue efforts to sell the Anthrax vaccine program and manufacturing facility and somehow deal with its lease obligations. VaxGen will also reconfigure its board.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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