Firm already owns 12% of NitroMed.

Shortly after announcing merger plans with Archemix, NitroMed reports that Deerfield Management has made an unsolicited acquisition proposal. NitroMed says that its board and advisors are assessing the offer.

Deerfield, which currently owns approximately 12% of NitroMed’s common stock, said that it would pay $0.50 cents per share in cash. This represents a $56.25% premium of the firm’s $0.32 opening price today.

It is unclear as to whether Deerfield is proposing to buy the shares of NitroMed that it doesn’t already own or whether it is offering to purchase the combination of NitroMed and Archemix. If it is the former, Deerfield would have to pay about $22.8 million.

NitroMed itself is still evaluating the letter it received from Deerfield, according to Jane Kramer, company spokesperson.

In efforts to create value for shareholders, NitroMed in October negotiated the sale of most of its assets covering BiDil®, a marketed heart failure medication, to JHP Pharmaceuticals. It then inked a merger agreement with Archemix a month later, which is subject to consummation of BiDil purchase deal. The all-stock merger transaction, if sanctioned, would give former Archemix stockholders an approximate 70% ownership of the combined entity.

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