Bloomberg News

Pharming Buys DNage, Gains New Experimental Drugs

March 24, 2006

Pharming Group NV (PHARM), an unprofitable Dutch biotechnology company, agreed to buy closely held DNage BV to gain experimental drugs targeting premature aging and cancer.

Pharming will pay 4 million shares in several installments to DNage's existing shareholders, the Leiden, Netherlands-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. DNage's investors also will get 600,000 warrants, milestone payments based on drug development and royalties on future sales, the company said.

``We are relatively neutral on this transaction,'' analyst Mark van der Geest at Rabo Securities wrote in a note today. ``On the positive side, this improves Pharming's risk profile, as the company broadens its technology platform. On the negative side, one could argue that Pharming becomes less focused.'' Van der Geest rates Pharming shares ``buy.''

DNage Chief Executive Officer Rein Strijker is a member of Pharming's supervisory board. He will become a member of the enlarged company's management board after the purchase, according to the statement. The companies said they expect to complete the transaction by the end of May.

Stock of Pharming rose 14 cents, or 3.7 percent, to 3.97 euros in Amsterdam. Pharming has a market value of 338.5 million euros ($407.2 million.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Martijn van der Starre in Amsterdam vanderstarre@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.


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