) recently entered into a worldwide licensing and collaboration
agreement with privately-held U.S.-based biotechnology company,
The agreement is related to commercialization rights for
pipeline candidate AGT-182, an experimental enzyme replacement
therapy (ERT) which is being developed for the treatment of both
the central nervous system (CNS) and somatic manifestations in
patients with Hunter syndrome (MPS II).
As per the terms of the agreement, Shire will obtain worldwide
commercialization rights for AGT-182 from ArmaGen. We note
that the candidate enjoys orphan drug status both in the U.S.
In exchange, Shire will make payments of approximately $225
million to ArmaGen. This includes an initial upfront payment of $15
million in cash and equity, an additional equity investment,
research and development funding, milestones payments along with
Meanwhile, ArmaGen will be responsible for conducting and
completing the phase I/II study which is expected to start before
2014 end. Thereafter, Shire will be responsible for further
clinical development, including phase III trials, and
commercialization upon development.
The collaboration with ArmaGen is expected to strengthen Shire's
rare disease pipeline. We note that Shire already has a drug,
Elaprase, which is approved for treating Hunter Syndrome. Shire
also has one candidate in its pipeline, SHP-609, which is being
developed for the treatment of CNS manifestations associated with
Last week, Shire announced that it has finally agreed to
) acquisition proposal. Under the terms of the offer, shareholders
of Shire will receive £53.19 for each Shire share (£24.44 in cash
and 0.8960 ordinary shares of the merged company for each Shire
Shire currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors
looking for better-ranked stocks may consider companies like
). While Allergan carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Pfizer is a
Zacks Rank #2 stock (Buy).
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