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Vaccine maker Panacea Biotech has is acquiring a 14.5% stake in PharmAthene Inc, a US-based biodefence company, for $13.1 million. PharmAthene develops medical counter-measures against threats from biological and chemical weapons. The acquisition of stake has been done through through a wholly-owned subsidiary, Kelisia Holdings. The transaction is expected to close within three weeks. PharmAthene will get the first right of negotiation for US distribution of certain

biodefence products of Panacea. PharmAthene may also collaborate with Panacea on product development and manufacturing.

Panacea said informing the BSE that Kelisia will purchase approximately 3.73 million shares of PharmAthene for $3.50 per share. Upon closure, Kelisia will also receive 12-month warrants to purchase upto approximately 2.75 million additional shares of PharmAthene for $5.10 per share, thereby increasing its stake to 19.99%.

Panacea Biotec bagged a $34 million drug supply order from UNICEF to supply pentavalent vaccines, the first Indian company to get such a contract.

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