- Ireland-based Shire finally secured a deal to buy out NPS Pharma for $5.2 billion and in the process acquired drugs that will shore up its rare diseases drug portfolio.
- The NPS portfolio includes the gastrointestinal (GI) drug Gattex (teduglutide), as well as the as-yet-unapproved Natpara, which if approved (most likely later this month) will become the first approved drug for the treatment of hypoparathyroidism.
- Shire's stated goal is $10 billion in annual sales by 2020. The acquisition is part of the strategy laid out by Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov in the wake of a scuttled mega-merger with AbbVie.
The news of the scuttled $55 billion deal in which AbbVie was supposed to acquire Shire last October reverberated through the industry. Nonetheless, both companies seem to be recovering. And Shire is finally moving forward with its own acquisition, which many say was on the table but sidelined when the AbbVie deal was on the horizon.
With the NPS Pharma acquisition, Shire gains real strength. Gattex, which is used to treat short-bowel syndrome grossed $67.9 billion for the first nine months of 2014 and Natpara is looking like it will get approved, assuming that the post-marketing safety data that the FDA requested satisfies regulators.