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Shire to file Vyvanse for binge-eating in Q3

Wants to mirror drug’s success as ADHD treatment
Vyvanse - Shire

Shire's attention-deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) drug Vyvanse is the engine behind the company's growth at the moment, but could get another boost if approved to prevent binge-eating.

The company revealed yesterday that sales of Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) for ADHD rose 29 per cent in the fourth quarter to $330m, more than a quarter of Shire's total revenues of $1.33bn in the period. This boosted net profit to $64m ahead of analyst forecasts.

Shire is planning a marketing application in binge-eating in the third quarter, which, if approved, would be the first FDA-backed drug for the condition, potentially adding tens of millions of dollars to Vyvanse's turnover, according to analysts. However, Shire missed out on the possibility of a dramatic increase in sales of the flagship product after late-stage trials in depression disappointed.

"This is a condition with few patient treatment options available, "said Shire's chief executive Flemming Ornskov, who has implemented a major restructuring drive at the company - including a concerted push into rare diseases - since taking the helm last year.

Shire wants to achieve with binge-eating disorder what it has achieved with ADHD, helping to legitimise it as a medical condition and building a category of therapeutics to treat it. That effort has been helped by the recognition of the disorder by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) last May.

Shire's restructuring drive has already seen it divest poorly-performing foot ulcer treatment Dermagraft last year, in addition to acquiring rare disease specialist Viropharma for $4.2bn, SARcode Bioscience for $160m and Lotus Tissue Repair for an undisclosed sum.

The Viropharma deal - which closed last month - brings in an already-marketed drug for hereditary angioedema with sales running at around $100m a quarter last year. Shire's own HAE treatment Firazyr (icatibant) had a great 2013, with sales doubling to $235m.

"After a strong performance in 2013, and the completion of the ViroPharma acquisition, we are well positioned in 2014 to deliver further growth," said Ornskov. Shire is predicting that sales will grow in the mid-to-high teens while earnings should rise in line with 2013's 23 per cent increase.

Meanwhile, Shire also announced that chief financial officer Graham Hetherington will step down on March 1 after almost six years at the company. Group financial controller James Bowling will step in on an interim basis while a permanent replacement is found.

Article by
Phil Taylor

14th February 2014

From: Sales

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