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NitroMed receives "unsolicited" acquisition offer

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

NitroMed, the US company developing nitric oxide drugs, has received an "unsolicited" acquisition offer of $0.50 per share in cash from investors Deerfield Management. Deerfield said that the offer would offer substantially better value to shareholders, expressing "sincere disappointment" in NitroMed's decision to sell its BiDil assets and merge with Archemix. NitroMed agreed in October to sell all the assets of the heart failure treatment BiDil (isosorbide dinitrate/hydralazine hydrochloride), its only approved drug, to JHP Pharmaceuticals for $24.5 million. Last month Nitromed announced its merger with Archemix, an aptamer therapy developer, which will hold a 70% share of the combined company (ScripOnline, November 21st, 2008). Deerfield, which owns a 12% stake of NitroMed, said: "Unfortunately, the decisions of the NitroMed board have placed us in the untenable position of neither being able to sell our shares at a reasonable price, nor receiving any value for the company's assets." NitroMed's board and its advisors are considering the proposal. NitroMed's share price rose to $0.30 on December 4th, the day of the announcement, up by 76.5% on the previous day's closing value.

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