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Shire strikes bi-specific antibody deal with Novimmune

Pharma giant obtains licence for haemophilia A candidate

ShirePrivately-held Swiss biopharmaceutical company Novimmune has entered a deal with Shire, allowing the pharma giant to take reign over its pre-clinical bi-specific antibody candidate for haemophilia A.

Shire and its newly-acquired subsidiary Baxalta have had drugs on the market for this indication for quite some time now, but it could face competition from Roche’s possible blockbuster emicizumab (ACE910).

Analysts are expecting to see $5bn at peak for Roche’s once-weekly injectable, however Shire has since delayed its rival from filing approval with a preliminary injunction after claims of “incomplete and misleading statements” about clotting-related adverse events.

The haemophilia drugs market was worth around $7bn last year, attracting new players to the field including Roche, however the market is still very much dominated by Shire, who is further strengthening its lead with its newly-acquired haemophilia A candidate.

Fritz Scheifliner, head of global research at Shire, said: “While further development and clinical trials are needed to fully evaluate this antibody, we are encouraged by the potential of the data that we have seen in early discovery and the promise it may hold for haemophilia A patients and patients with inhibitors.”

The deal - which has been in the making since 2015 - will grant Shire rights to develop and commercialise the novel drug, adding to the Irish drug maker’s monoclonal antibody capabilities, something that it’s been focussing on since announcing its new US-based rare diseases innovation centre.

The new drug candidate will see Shire drive its efforts to deliver a treatment that “improves upon the strong and long-term record of efficacy and safety that has been set up by the factor class”, said the company in a statement.

Ed Holdener, chairman and chief executive officer of Novimmune, added: “We are delighted that our research efforts have produced several promising and potentially highly differentiated leads for improving coagulation in haemophilia A.”

The financials of the deal were not disclosed, but the partnership brings about good news for Novimmune, who also has deals in place with Tiziana Life Sciences and Roche.

Article by
Gemma Jones

10th August 2017

From: Sales

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