VaxGen faces possible liquidation after merger flops

The spectacularly unsuccessful VaxGen has called off an effort to merge with Raven biotechnologies and says it may now have to liquidate. VaxGen tried and failed to develop an anthrax vaccine that could have garnered an $877 million government contract. The merger with Raven was seen as an 11th hour attempt to prevent the company from foundering. But with investors opposed to a merger, VaxGen said late last week that it will assess all options, including liquidation.

"We are obviously very disappointed that the proposed merger with Raven was not approved by our stockholders," said VaxGen CEO James Panek. "Despite the strong support of some institutions and solid support by so many individual investors, it has become quite clear that there is sufficient opposition, such that this merger will not be approved."

The anthrax vaccine was the company's latest failure. In 2003 VaxGen abandoned a years-long effort to develop an HIV vaccine. The anthrax vaccine effort was its second chance, but the government cut the contract at the end of '06 after a key trial failed.

- check out the release from VaxGen
- read the story in the San Jose Mercury News

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