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Shire buys into eyecare specialist

Will complement its investigational dry eye drug lifitegrast

Shire HQShire has acquired New York-based, privately held Foresight Biotherapeutics for $300m as it looks to add to its eyecare portfolio. 

With the acquisition, Shire will acquire the global rights to FST-100 (topical ophthalmic drops combining povidone iodine and 0.1% dexamethasone), a therapy in late-stage development for the treatment of infectious conjunctivitis or 'pink eye'. 

This acquisition further strengthens Shire's late-stage pipeline, and has a strategic fit with its investigational drug lifitegrast, which is in late-stage development for treatment of dry eye disease.

“With the acquisition of Foresight Biotherapeutics, Shire demonstrates its commitment to eye care while advancing its strategy of addressing high unmet medical need through transformative treatments for rare diseases and specialty medicines,” said Flemming Ornskov, CEO of Shire. 

“Ophthalmics is a highly-attractive growth area for Shire and this acquisition allows us to strengthen our presence in this therapeutic area. It is highly synergistic with the planned lifitegrast commercial structure. FST-100 and lifitegrast, if approved, would address two of the leading reasons people seek eye care treatment.”

Currently no therapy exists to resolve both clinical signs and symptoms and eradicate adenovirus, which is the most common cause of viral conjunctivitis. 

Around half of infectious conjunctivitis cases have a viral etiology, and 65% to 90% of these are caused by adenovirus. 

There are 5.9 million cases of infectious conjunctivitis annually in the US and around 5.4 million cases in the EU annually.

If approved by regulatory agencies, FST-100 has the potential to become the first agent to treat both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis. 

Shire has acquired the global rights to FST-100 and will evaluate an appropriate regulatory filing strategy for additional markets outside the US.

Under the terms of the agreement, Shire will make a cash payment of $300m to complete the acquisition of Foresight Biotherapeutics.

4th August 2015

From: Sales

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