Shire buying Foresight Biotherapeutics and its pink eye drug for $300M
- Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov is focused on acquistion of the drug FST-100, a therapy for infectious conjunctivitis. The Dublin-based firm announced it would acquire NY-based Foresight for $300 million on Monday.
- Ornskov also recently bought the ophthalmology drug Lifitegrast, which is in Phase III, but has thus far achieved mixed results in trials.
- Shire is trying to build out its pipeline and has been aggressive recently, including acquisition of NPS Pharmaceuticals in January for $5.2 billion. In October 2014, it lost out on a deal in which is was supposed to acquire AbbVie for $54 billion. And on Tuesday, the company made public a $30 billion all-stock offer to snap up Baxalta (the recently-formed biopharma spinoff from Baxter) with the goal of creating a global rare disease titan.
Despite the well-publicized scuttled deal in October, Ornskov is keeping his eyes on the prize. In addition to the acquisition of NPS in January, Shire is also looking at other options. The overall goal has not changed: To have $10 billion in sales by 2020.
A major part of that strategy is building out the pipeline, while also bolstering sales of existing drugs. Ornskov seems to think that FST-100 could be a homerun becuase of its potential for treating both the viral and bacterial causes of conjunctivitis.
It's not clear how this will pan out based on phase II results, and investors' relative lack of enthusiasm. However, Ornskov continues to be both optimistic and persistent. And if Shire can pull off a Baxalta deal, then all bets are off.