North American Vaccine stock deal withdrawn

November 24, 1994|By Bloomberg Business News

BELTSVILLE -- BioChem Pharma Inc. said it is dropping plans to sell its 4.25 million shares in North American Vaccine Inc.

North American Vaccine said it is withdrawing at BioChem Pharma's request a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the sale of the shares.

BioChem Pharma, a Laval, Quebec-based maker of vaccines, diagnostic equipment and drugs, owns a total of 10.9 million, or 38 percent of North American Vaccine's shares. The Beltsville company develops vaccines for childhood diseases.

BioChem Pharma filed the registration statement on April 20 and planned to sell the shares in the open market, said Christine Lennon, a BioChem Pharma spokeswoman. BioChem Pharma delayed the share sale on July 13 because of weak market conditions, she said. The company decided to withdraw the registration statement because it had no immediate plans to revive the sale, Ms. Lennon said.

Tuesday, shares of North American Vaccine sank 12 percent after the National Institutes of Health disclosed results of a study that suggest the company's whooping cough vaccine is less effective than ones already on the market.

The results didn't trigger the decision to withdraw the offering, Ms. Lennon said. BioChem Pharma was "encouraged" by the data, which showed North American's combined vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough was 71 effective in preventing whooping cough in babies who were given the vaccine.

Shares of North American Vaccine closed at $10.875, an increase of 87.5 cents, after heavy trading on the American Stock Exchange.

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