updated 10/10/2006 10:23:48 AM ET 2006-10-10T14:23:48

Biotech drugmaker ImClone Systems Inc. said Tuesday that its chairman and another member of its board resigned, following a week of squabbles between the company and billionaire financier Carl Icahn.

The company said in a statement that Chairman David M. Kies and board member William W. Crouse resigned effective immediately, and did not elaborate on the departures.

Kies, a member of the board since 1996, was appointed chairman in February 2004. He is a partner of the New York law firm Sullivan & Cromwell. Crouse, who became a board member in January 2004, is managing director and general partner of HealthCare Ventures LLC, one of the world’s largest biotech venture capital firms.

Icahn, Kies, and Crouse could not be reached for comment.

ImClone and Icahn, who owns about 14 percent of the company, have fought recently concerning the company’s direction.

Icahn said about two weeks ago that half the 12-member board should be removed because directors were unable to accept a $36 per share offer for the company from an unnamed bidder.

On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis SA had offered to buy ImClone. A spokeswoman for Sanofi-Aventis said the company does not comment on market rumors.

ImClone said in a filing last week that investors should reject Icahn’s efforts to oust half of its directors because he failed to support the bid, has no strategy to boost profit and is trying to take control of the company without paying a premium.

ImClone, which makes the cancer drug Erbitux, put itself on up for sale in January, but took itself off the market in August, saying it did not receive an offer at a fair price.

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