GSK in plan to axe all Human Genome board

City A.M. Reporter
GLAXOSMITHKLINE (GSK) plans to launch a campaign to replace the entire board of Human Genome Sciences with its own nominees, stepping up its £1.67bn hostile bid for the US biotech company, sources said yesterday.

The British company has started reaching out to executives in the pharmaceutical industry as well as finance and governance experts who could be nominated as independent directors on Human Genome’s 12-member board.

GSK now intends to seek consent from Human Genome shareholders to replace the entire board and the consent solicitation process could come in the next few weeks, the Reuters source said. The company is also expected to extend its tender offer for Human Genome beyond 7 June. The move, which GSK had flagged as a possibility in a regulatory filing earlier this month, could send yet another signal to potential bidders of the seriousness of GSK’s desire to buy Human Genome. This might make it harder for the US biotech company to find a white knight willing to take on the UK pharma giant.

The two companies together sell Benlysta, a new drug for the autoimmune condition known as lupus.

They also collaborate on two other experimental drugs for diabetes and heart disease which could bring the pair significant profits.