Acambis shareholders have voted unanimously in favour of Sanofi-Aventis’ acquisition of the UK vaccines company.

Stockholders of the biotechnology firm have voted by a whopping 99.97% in favour of being taken over by the French drugmaker’s vaccines arm Sanofi Pasteur which said it will pay around £276 million in cash, or £1.90 per share in July. That represented a premium of around 65%.

The court hearings required to sanction the scheme and to make the necessary changes to Acambis’ share capital are scheduled for 22 and 24 September 2008, respectively, Sanofi said and the following day should see Acambis become a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Last month, in the last set of results it would deliver as a public company, Acambis said that its pretax loss for the first six months of the year had narrowed to £12.2 million from £19.3 million. Turnover rose to £8.8 million from £3.4 million in the like, year-earlier period, much of which came from Sanofi for the collaborations the two firms already have in place. Those pacts include Acambis’ most advanced programme, ChimeriVax-JE for Japanese encephalitis, which is in Phase III, as well as vaccines against West Nile virus and dengue, both of which are in Phase II.