LONDON ¿ Peptide Therapeutics Group plc, of Cambridge, U.K., confirmed that its acquisition of OraVax Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., was approved by OraVax stockholders and that the acquisition is now complete.

Peptide paid US$3 million in cash and US$17 million in new Peptide shares, and 10.2 million Peptide shares have been issued to OraVax stockholders, a price per Peptide share of #1.0365 (US$1.67). The closing price on May 11, which was the first day of trading in the new shares, was #1.075.

The acquisition also triggered completion of an alliance between Peptide, which specializes in immuno therapeutics, and Pasteur Merieux Connaught (PMC), relating to OraVax¿s vaccine technology, ChimeriVax. Under the terms of the deal, PMC has invested US$3 million in an equity stake in Peptide, at 78 pence per share, the price of Peptide¿s discounted rights issue completed in March 1999.

PMC also will fund the research and development costs of developing vaccines against Japanese encephalitis and tick-borne encephalitis, and the two will share costs of developing a hepatitis C vaccine. They are already collaborating on a vaccine against dengue fever. These agreements could trigger royalty payments of up to US$60 million to Peptide, as well as royalties on sales.

Peptide now has eight products in clinical trials, with a further two scheduled to enter the clinic before the end of 1999. In addition to the ChimeriVax technology, OraVax¿s pipeline includes an H. pylori vaccine in Phase II trials, and ArilVax, a yellow fever vaccine that is marketed by Medeva plc in Europe, but not currently available in the U.S. Medeva will fund a U.S. Phase III trial during 1999, with marketing submission planned for 2000.