Cangene Corp. said Friday it will fight a takeover bid by Pharma Patchplc and it asked shareholders to reject the raiding company's offer.Pharma Patch, based in Ireland, owns 14 percent of Cangene and hasmoved to purchase the Toronto biotechnology company by offeringone share of Pharma Patch for three shares of Cangene. The offer, openuntil July 22, is contingent upon Pharma Patch getting control of atleast 90 percent of the Cangene stock it doesn't already own.In a prepared statement released Friday, Cangene said the PharmaPatch offer is financially inadequate and "there is limited, if any,synergy between Pharma Patch's technology and Cangene's productsin development."Pharma Patch officials could not be reached for comment.Cangene also said that all members of the company's board of directorsand several other large shareholders have indicated they do not intendto accept Pharma Patch's offer. According to Cangene, thoseshareholders own a total of about 41 percent of the company's issuedand outstanding common shares.To contest Pharma Patch's takeover, Cangene said it plans to adopt a"permitted bid" shareholder protection rights plan.Cangene (TSE: CNJ) is developing drugs and nucleic acid-baseddiagnostics. It has one drug in Phase II/III clinical trials in Canada andapplications of its diagnostic technology are being commercializedthrough a Netherlands-based partner, Akzo Pharma International.Pharma Patch (NASDQ: SKINY) develops transdermal drug deliverysystems through its Toronto-based subsidiary, Medipro Sciences Ltd.On Friday, Pharma Patch's stock closed at $4.75 per share, up 50 cents,and Cangene's stock closed at $2 Canadian ( about $1.40 U.S.) pershare. n
-- Charles Craig
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.