) recently announced that the company acquired privately held
Financial terms of the deal include an upfront payment along
with milestone payments to Premacure. The erstwhile Premacure was
headquartered in Sweden.
The acquisition of Premacure has added a protein replacement
therapy for the prevention of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) to
Shire's pipeline. An uncommon eye disorder, ROP mostly affects
premature infants resulting in visual loss in childhood.
Following the acquisition, Premacure has become a part of
Shire's Human Genetic Therapies Franchise (HGT) and has enabled
HGT to foray into a new therapeutic area - neonatology.
Premacure's protein replacement therapy for ROP is at present
in phase II with key focus on restore the insulin-like growth
factor 1 (IGF-1) levels in the preterm infants. Shire will
develop the candidate going forward.
Shire has been strengthening is HGT franchise in recent times
to focus on developing novel therapies for the treatment of rare
diseases requiring medical need.
In Feb 2013, Shire completed the acquisition of privately-held
Lotus Tissue Repair, Inc. which is developing a protein
replacement therapy currently being investigated for the
treatment of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB).
Subsequently, Shire's HGT took over the development of Lotus
Tissue Repair's lead candidate, a proprietary recombinant form of
human collagen type VII (rC7), an intravenous protein replacement
therapy for the treatment of DEB.
We note that Shire already has an EB candidate, ABH001, in its
pipeline. ABH001 is being developed as a dermal substitute
therapy for the treatment of non-healing wounds in patients with
We remind investors that Shire acquired a worldwide exclusive
license from pirvately held IGAN Biosciences, Inc. in Oct 2012 to
develop and commercialize protease-based therapeutics for the
treatment of IgA nephropathy, a rare kidney disease.
However, Shire faces stiff competition from the likes of
) in the key HGT market.
Shire currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Pharma stocks,
which currently look well placed, include
Eli Lilly & Co
). Both carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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