New products + mature business = merger

One of the hardest decisions for biotech companies with significant infrastructure requirements and limited resources is how to secure the future of the company. Univax Biologics Inc., which faced major capital expenditures to acquire both plasma collection centers and manufacturing facilities, last week solved its dilemma by agreeing to merge with North American Biologicals Inc.

The Rockville, Md., developer of polyclonal antibodies, vaccines and immunoglobulin products has never been among the biotechs with hefty bank accounts, finishing June with $16.9 million in cash. Its burn rate, following a corporate restructuring in May that reduced personnel by 25 percent, is a modest $1.3 million a month. But that left little room to meet the financial requirements of both operations and infrastructure.
The need for additional cash also became apparent with the opportunity to enter a vaccine deal with Chiron Corp. (see page B2)