The SEC has required Hana Biologics Inc. to postpone itsshareholder vote on the company's proposed merger withSomatix Corp.

A shareholders meeting to vote on the deal had been scheduledfor Thursday, but now will not take place until March 14, saidJohn Archer, Hana president.

According to Archer, the SEC wanted to give shareholders moretime to consider the deal in light of a decision made Feb. 12 toproceed with the merger before all employee agreements hadbeen completed.

The merger will bring together Hana's cell therapy technologyand Somatix's gene therapy expertise.

At issue is the employment agreement of Eric Tomlinson,president and chief executive officer of Cambridge, Mass.-basedSomatix, who was to assume the same duties in the mergedcompany. That agreement now will be negotiated after themerger, said Archer.

Archer said it is more critical to complete agreements with thescientific employees prior to the merger. He added that someSomatix scientists already have moved to HanaLs facilities inAlameda, Calif.

The SEC has no other questions about the merger, said Archer. -- Carol Talkington-Verser, Ph.D.

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