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Sirna Shareholders OK Merck Acquisition; Firm Alters Closing Expectation Date

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Sirna Therapeutics yesterday said its shareholders have approved Merck’s bid to acquire the company.
 
Sirna said the deal, subject to customary closing conditions, is “expected to close as soon as reasonably practicable.” Earlier in December the company said the acquisition “may close as early as this month.” The deal was originally slated to close by the first quarter of 2007.
  
Merck announced its plans to acquire Sirna for $1.1 billion in cash on Oct. 30. The deal is noteworthy for RNAi technology companies because Sirna, through principally a drug-discovery company, has said in the past that it would license its IP. It is not clear whether they have to date, or whether the Merck acquisition will help or hinder this goal.