In spite of upping the price to 35 pence per share, a 300% premium, Oxford BioMedica finds it not credible.

Oxford BioMedica has rejected GeneThera’s second and increased take-over bid of approximately 35 pence per share. GeneThera says that it has been pursuing the company because it believes that Oxford Biomedica’s renal cancer vaccine, which has suffered a few setbacks, would benefit from GeneThera’s platform to improve DNA vaccines.

GeneThera’s offer represents about a 300% premium over yesterday’s closing price for Oxford Biomedica’s. Yet, the firm believes this unsolicited approach, which was made on August 14, is not credible and is not in the interests of its shareholders. GeneThera’s first proposal was reportedly rejected on July 31.

Oxford BioMedica, which trades on the London Stock Exchange, surged almost 31% to reach a high of 11 pence today. The company’s value dropped sharply in July when TroVax, its renal cancer vaccine candidate, failed to meet its primary endpoint in a Phase III trial. The firm’s shares fell 59%.

GeneThera believes that its platform for improving DNA vaccines, Purivax, would help TroVax development. “Purivax is a highly efficient system designed to greatly improve DNA vaccines application in clinic trials,” notes Tony Milici, M.D., Ph.D., GeneThera’s chairman. “Oxford Biomedica’s renal cancer clinical trial was recently halted because of its failure to improve survival rate in the patients enrolled in the trial. We believe that our Purivax technology would be a critical factor in getting the Trovax clinical trial restarted and possibly successfully completed.

“I would like to also point out that the merging of the two companies would create a major player in the field of DNA cancer vaccines. The new company will also be in the position to meet the requirements for a listing on the AMEX or NASDAQ giving GeneThera and Oxford BioMedica shareholders a greater advantage when compared to the present situation.”
GeneThera, which largely focuses on animal health, trades over the counter with a market capitalization of $230,000. At market close yesterday, Oxford Biomedica had a market cap of approximately £46.5 million, or roughly $86.62 million.

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