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British pharmaceutical firm Shire has announced its intention to acquire German company Jerini AG in a deal worth GBP 276 million.
Shire’s aim in taking over Jerini is to secure the launch in Europe later this year of the Berlin-based firm’s orphan drug treatment for hereditary angioedema, Firazyr. Hereditary angioedema is a rare, life-threatening genetic disorder which affects the blood vessels and causes rapid swelling of the hands, feet and face.
Drugs used to treat a rare disease are granted a special “orphan” status due to their limited sales potential, enabling them to be be sold at a higher price.
The acquisition of Firazyr will see Shire earn up to GBP 200 million over the next 10 years, which will help offset loss of revenue when the patent on its best-selling hyperactivity drug, Adderall XR, expires next year.
Shire’s chief executive, Angus Russell, said: “The proposed acquisition of Jerini would bring to Shire a new drug that is highly complementary to our HGT portfolio.
“Firazyr is a product which satisfies a high unmet medical need and treats a morbidly symptomatic disorder. With orphan designation in both Europe and the US, the acquisition will bring near-term revenues as well as contribute to Shire’s longer-term growth.”
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