Astellas is turning the screw in its bid to acquire CV Therapeutics, saying that it is looking to get rid of the board at the US company.

The Japanese drugmaker plans to nominate two candidates to replace chief executive officer Louis Lange and director and CVT founder Thomas Shenk at the California-based firm’s next annual general meeting. No date has been scheduled fro that meeting yet but last year’s was held in May.

Astellas has also submitted a proposal to remove the other four members. The move is a response to CVT’s rejection earlier this month of a $1.1 billion unsolicited offer from the Japanese firm, having already turned down the same $16 per share offer made privately in November.

Astellas responded by launching its hostile bid, which represents a 41% premium to CVT’s closing price of $11.35 on January 26, the last day of trading before the offer was made public. Its offer expires on March 27.

The Tokyo-based group added that "while we continue to prefer a negotiated agreement with CVT, the refusal of the board to engage us has left us no alternative but to…ask [shareholders] to elect a board that is willing to consider opportunities to maximise value for all".