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Mid-Week News Highlights (12/6-12/8) from CRA’s Coverage Universe

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News from our coverage universe this week includes Johnson & Johnson’s bid to buy Crucell for $2.3 billion, the distribution of two of Bioniche’s cattle reproduction products in Australia, the latest advances in CEL-SCI’s Multikine® manufacturing and laboratory operations, and the upcoming release of Peregrine’s 2Q2011 financial results.

JNJ and Crucell in Advanced Negotiations for an All-Cash Public Offer

Earlier today, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ-NYSE) and Crucell N.V. (CRXL-NYSE Euronext, NASDAQ) announced that JNJ’s newly formed, indirect wholly owned subsidiary, JJC Acquisition Company B.V., made a recommended cash offer for all of Crucell’s outstanding equity at an offer price of €24.75 (~US$32.81) per share. The roughly $2.3 billion offer is a 58% premium over the €15.70 closing price of Crucell’s ordinary shares on NYSE Euronext on September 16, 2010 (the day before the companies announced negotiations) and a 63% premium over the stock’s 30-day trading average of €15.20. JNJ plans to keep Crucell as a center for vaccines, retaining the company’s headquarters and existing facilities, its senior management, and, generally, its employment levels. The offer is subject to certain conditions, including the satisfaction of a minimum acceptance level of at least 95% of shares (or at least 80%, if certain conditions are met). The acceptance period extends through February 16, 2011. Crucell has scheduled an Extraordinary General Meeting on February 8, 2011, in Amsterdam. For the latest information on the potential acquisition, please visit Crucell’s website at

CEL-SCI’s Manufacturing and Laboratory Operations Deemed GMP-Compliant

As well, CEL-SCI Corporation (CVM-NYSE Amex) announced that its manufacturing and laboratory operations were deemed Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-compliant following an audit by a European Union Qualified Person (QP). This milestone paves the way for CEL-SCI to export its flagship cancer product, Multikine®, to the EU for use in its Phase III clinical trial in head and neck cancer patients. To read the full article, click here.

Bioniche Distributor Enters Exclusive Supply Agreement with Angus Australia

On December 6, 2010, Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (BNC-TSX) announced that its Australian distributor, Bayer Animal Health, entered into an exclusive supply agreement with Angus Australia. Bayer Animal Health is the exclusive distributor of two Bioniche cattle reproduction products in Australia: Cue-Mate™ and Pregnecol™. Under the agreement, Bayer is exclusively supplying the two reproductive products to the breed society for a three-year period. Bioniche believes that Angus Australia’s commitment to the exclusive use of its reproductive products affirms the products’ quality and demonstrates their perceived value in Angus Australia’s artificial insemination program.

Peregrine To Announce 2Q11 Results on Thursday, December 9th

Stay tuned tomorrow as Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (PPHM-NASDAQ) reports financial results for the second quarter FY 2011 (ended October 31, 2010). The company is hosting a conference call at 4:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. PT) on Thursday, December 9th to discuss financial results and review its clinical development programs for first-in-class monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer and viral infections. To listen to the call, dial (877) 312-5443 or (253) 237-1126 or view a live webcast online at