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BRITISH BIO-TECHNOLOGY COMPLETES $ 14.5 MIL. PLACEMENT

Executive Summary

BRITISH BIO-TECHNOLOGY COMPLETES $ 14.5 MIL. PLACEMENT with funds from Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, SmithKline's S. R. One venture capital subsidiary and 12 U.S. and British investment firms, British Bio-Technology announced Feb. 2. The investment gives both SmithKline and Johnson & Johnson a 5.7% interest in the Oxford, England-based biotech company. SmithKline, which had purchased approximately 300,000 shares (at $ 1.40 per share) of British Bio-Technology in July 1986 at its first private placement, invested an additional $ 425,000 to bring its holdings to 500,000 shares. Johnson and Johnson invested approximately $ 1.8 mil. for its 500,000 shares ($ 3.60 per share). Proceeds from the placement "will be used to purchase and equip additional laboratory and production facilities and to fund two major development projects: . . . large scale production of [epidermal growth factor] using genetic engineering techniques . . . and development of a potentially effective vaccine against AIDS," the release states. The company noted that "neither [SmithKline's nor Johnson & Johnson's] holdings purchase any pre-emptive position with regard to products in British Bio-Technology's research and development pipeline." SmithKline, however, currently has agreements with the firm for the marketing of British Bio-Technology's Designer Genes synthetic genes and for research and development of thrombolytic agents. Under the agreement for thrombolytics, announced in May, SmithKline will have responsibility for developing new agents resulting from research at both companies along with worldwide marketing rights to any resulting products. The Designer Genes agreement gives SmithKline's Beckman Instruments subsidiary exclusive marketing rights in North America, and non exclusive rights in most other countries, for British Bio-Technology's synthetic gene products. The genes, used for research and production of other recombinant agents, currently number 20, and the company noted that it will be expanding its line, at "several per month," throughout 1988.
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