Shire Looks to Boost Rare Disease Portfolio with ViroPharma Buy
Shire said Monday if the deal goes through, ViroPharma would bring Cinryze (C1 esterase inhibitor [human]), a top prophylactic for HAE, to Shire’s portfolio. The drug would be an important complement to Shire’s own Firazyr (icatibant injection) to treat the rare blood disorder.
“Shire is … excited by the prospect of being able to offer two complementary treatments, Firazyr for the treatment of acute HAE attacks and Cinryze for prophylactic treatment of patients suffering from HAE,” CEO Flemming Ornskov said.
ViroPharma estimates its North American revenue from Cinryze in 2013 alone could be between $395 million and $405 million. By contrast, Shire reported sales of its product Firazyr were about $63 million over the last three quarters.
ViroPharma would also bring several other rare disease drugs approved in the EU, including Plenadren (hydrocortisone modified release) for adrenal insufficiency in adults, and Buccolam (midazolam oromucosal solution) to treat prolonged seizures in infants, children and adolescents.
The Pennsylvania drugmaker also brings several products in its pipeline, including potential treatments for post-transplant cytomegalovirus infection and C. difficile infections.
Overall, Ornskov says the acquisition is expected to create a $2 billion rare disease revenue base for Shire and increase prospects for future growth.
The announcement follows the extension of Shire and Santaris’ rare disease drug partnership in late August. The move signaled the companies’ intention to thrust their partnered compounds into the pre-clinical stage. — Ferdous Al-Faruque
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