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Shire to Buy Pervasis Therapeutics

Zacks Equity Research

Shire plc (SHPGF) recently entered into an agreement to acquire almost all the assets of Pervasis Therapeutics. As per the terms of the agreement, Shire will make an upfront payment and regulatory, development and commercial milestones upon the achievement of certain pre-specified conditions. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Vascugel, the lead pipeline candidate at Pervasis, is developed using an acute vascular repair technology for improving hemodialysis access for patients with end-stage renal disease (:ESRD). The candidate has orphan drug designation in both US and Europe and is currently in phase II studies.

This acquisition will strengthen the company’s portfolio and complement Shire’s product Dermagraft for diabetic foot ulcers.

Shire has formed a number of alliances to expand its pipeline. In January, the company acquired the US rights of Resolor from Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V., a Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) company.

Soon after this, in February, the company entered into a collaboration and license agreement for the development of products for hemophilia and other monogenic diseases with Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (SGMO). These products will be developed using Sangamo’s zinc finger DNA-binding protein (:ZFP) technology.

More recently, in March, Shire entered into an agreement with arGEN-X to create novel treatments for rare genetic diseases. Shire also entered into an agreement to acquire FerroKin BioSciences, Inc. for approximately $325 million.

Our Recommendation

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Shire. The stock carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Neutral rating) in the short run.

Shire’s recent collaborations and acquisitions (including Movetis and Advanced BioHealing Inc.) have added immense potential to its pipeline. With several of its products already facing or likely to face generic competition, the company’s pipeline needs to deliver.

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