UPDATE 1-Transgene preparing to raise 150 mln euros -paper

* Transgene cash level seen at roughly 30 mln eur end-2010
* Preparing to raise money to turn into biopharma company

* Shares down 8.9 percent

(Adds analyst comment, share price)

PARIS, March 23 (BestGrowthStock) – French biotechnology company
Transgene (TRNG.PA: ) is preparing to raise 150 million euros
($203 million) to transform itself into a drugmaker in the next
five years, French newspaper Les Echos reported on Tuesday.

Transgene shares were down 8.9 percent at 1038 GMT.

The company was not available to comment.

Its main shareholder, the Merieux family, as well as the
Dassault family would back Transgene’s fund raising, Les Echos
said on Tuesday, citing a source close to the matter.

Transgene said at its earnings presentation on Monday it
expected to consume about half of the 64.7 million in cash it
had available at the end of last year, saying it would appeal
for a subsidy and benefit from a tax break on research.

Analysts said it was no surprise that Transgene would seek
to raise cash.

“The budget level and cash consumption of the company take
us to end-2011/Q1 2012, which leads to a tense situation as the
first possible payment is linked to Novartis exercising its
option on TG4010, that is, in the first quarter of 2012,”
Portzamparc analyst Arnaud Guerin said in a research note.

He rates Transgene “buy”.

Earlier this month, Transgene sealed an exclusive option
with Swiss drugmaker Novartis (NOVN.VX: ), which will look into
developing and marketing Transgene’s TG4010 cancer vaccine, but
the deal’s optional nature disappointed investors.

Transgene Chief Executive Philippe Archinard said at the
time the deal was in line with the company’s goal to turn into a
biopharmaceutical group in the next five years.

TG4010 has been touted as a possible blockbuster as it could
target other cancer types as well.

Transgene shares have lost about a fifth of their value
since the start of the year.


(Reporting by Caroline Jacobs; Editing by Will Waterman, Mike
($1=0.7401 euro)

UPDATE 1-Transgene preparing to raise 150 mln euros -paper