Rumours that Pfizer is close to concluding a deal for Wyeth have proved to be bad news for the Dutch biotechnology firm Crucell as its potential acquisition by the latter has been called off.

The Leiden-based vaccine maker has issued a very brief statement this morning saying that “Wyeth has withdrawn from discussions regarding a potential combination of the two companies”. The news has seen Crucell’s shares sink and they were down over 16% to 13 euros at 11am UK time.

However earlier this morning, Crucell’s stock had been down over 20%. The slight recovery suggests that although the news of Wyeth’s withdrawal is disappointing, investors are realising that there are a number of other potential candidates who would be interested in the Dutch group. Crucell recently posted its first-ever quarterly profit, on the back of strong sales of its five-shots-in-one Quinvaxem jab (for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b) and portfolio of travel vaccines.