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Bowing to convention

Avant Immunotherapeutics Inc. has always believed that it is possible to build a business based on the travelers, biodefense and global health markets. But Wall Street never bought into that vision. Last week, AVAN announced a merger with Celldex Therapeutics Inc. that will broaden its therapeutic offerings to encompass more conventional markets, while combining the two companies' immunotherapy-based platforms.

For Celldex, which withdrew its IPO in August 2005 due to market conditions, the deal will give it access to the public equity market.

"We felt

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