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Alnylam, Merck, Sirna, Sigma-Aldrich

Alnylam Expects to Raise $101M in Stock Offering
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals this week said that it is publicly offering 4.7 million shares of its common stock.
The underwriter of the offering, Banc of America Securities, has also been granted a 30-day option to buy an additional 705,000 shares, Alnylam said.
The RNAi drug developer said it expects net proceeds of the offering to be approximately $101 million.

Waiting Period on Merck, Sirna Acquisition Expires
The federal regulatory antitrust waiting period for Merck’s proposed $1.1 billion acquisition of Sirna Therapeutics has expired, the companies said this week.
Merck announced its plan to buy Sirna for $13 a share in cash in late October (see RNAi News, 11/2/2006).
Consummation of the acquisition, which is expected to occur before the end of this year or early in the first quarter of 2007, remains subject to other customary closing conditions, including the approval of the merger by holders of Sirna's common stock and the absence of a material adverse effect on Sirna since the signing of the merger agreement, the companies said.
Sirna shareholders are scheduled to vote on the transaction on Dec. 28. Sirna has said that investors holding 36 percent of the company’s equity have committed to supporting the deal.

Sigma-Aldrich Amends Terms of Credit Facility, Closes $100M Debt
Sigma-Aldrich this week said it has amended the terms of a $150 million credit facility it established in February 2005.
Sigma exercised the facility’s $150 million accordion feature, making the new one a five-year, $300 million facility that matures on Dec. 11, 2011.
The company said the revision will bolster liquidity for its commercial paper, or short-term debt, program, and for general purposes.
Last week, Sigma-Aldrich said that it closed a $100 million in debt offering by selling 5.1-percent senior notes due Dec. 5, 2011, to a private investor.

The company said it retired $75 million 5.2 percent senior notes that matured on Nov. 20.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.