Matt Emmens said in a conference call on 3rd January that the delayed approval of NRP104 had been misrepresented in some of the press. There are NO issues that will delay the launch. There were FDA routine questions that were answered in just 2 days. There were no labelling type issues to address. Nothing has changed over what Shire thinks the advantages are over AdderallXR - longer lasting 12 hours, smoother delivery and non-abuseability being the main three. Approval expected in 1 to 2 months. 70% of Adderall patients will be switched in 9 months - 100% within 2 years. No competitive threats on the horizon to NRP104 - patent until 2024. ADHD market will grow by 5-10%pa in short term and even higher in longer term due to Europe coming on line. Turn of tide in northern Europe towards recognising ADHD - big opportunity here. All AdderallXR advertising will cease as soon as NRP104 is available. It will be a total immediate switch from AdderallXR to NRP104 as far as the sales force is concerned. NRP104 will take precedence over other Shire ADHD products. Sales people will be incentivised to switch from AdderallXR to NRP104. Aspiration for Shire to increase ADHD market share from the current 26% to 35-40%. No comment on whether Shire was a bid target - 'you'll just have to wait and see'.
"In lieu of the recent break above the fifty-two week high, what are your thoughts on what this may be telling us about a takeout bid?"
Shire would be a nice quick fix for some big pharma out there given its robust fundementals. No bets for me if a takover will happen however. Given the potential for a recession, pharma companies are moving up, as people will still take their medication in a recession. Also lower interest rates, due to a recession could lead to a nice P/E multiple expansion. Shire also has a lot of untapped acquisition capacity given its financial resources, which could increase earnings.
As can be seen in the following graph the DJ pharma index has recently eclipsed its old highs from 2004 suggesting a potential significant move ahead for the sector.