North American Biologicals Inc. (NABI) announced Wednesdaythat it has acquired Premier Biosources Inc. (PBI), a bloodplasma supplier, for approximately $9 million.

NABI of Miami will issue shareholders of PBI of Fort Worth,Texas, approximately 1.8 million shares of its common stock,currently trading at about $4.31 per share, and will also issue515,000 shares of its stock in Baxter Healthcare Corp. to retirePBI's prior debt.

David Gury, NABI's president, chairman and chief executiveofficer, told BioWorld that the acquisition will increase thecompany's revenues through the sale of blood plasma toindependent buyers and improve NABI's drug-developmentcapabilities. Although NABI currently operates 44 blood plasmacenters in the U.S., Gury explained, the isolation of certainantibodies used in the development of therapeutics requires alarge volume of plasma. PBI's 22 plasma centers, he said, willincrease NABI's collection capacity to 1.8 million liters ofplasma annually from about 1 million. The expanded sources ofplasma, he indicated, also will provide valuable antibodiesnecessary for the manufacture of future drug products.

A five-year plasma supply agreement that PBI held withBaxter Healthcare will bring NABI a total of approximately$200 million, he said. The company has estimated that itsoverall revenues will increase to $140 million from $100million as a result of the acquisition.

NABI is currently conducting Phase III trials of HIVIG, anagent the company is developing for the prevention of mother-to-baby HIV transmission. The company is also in preclinicaldevelopment with H-BIG and HCVIG for preventing,respectively, hepatitis B and hepatitis C in transplant patients.All of the company's products are plasma-based.

North American Biological's (NASDAQ:NBIO) stock closed at$4.31 a share on Wednesday, up 43 cents.

-- Karl A. Thiel Associate Editor

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