Shire Buys Rare Disease Drug Developer

The Irish drugmaker is set to acquire the Massachusetts-based Dyax in a $5.9 billion deal.

By Tracy Vence | November 2, 2015

WIKIMEDIA, URCOMUNICACIONThrough its latest acquisition effort, Irish drugmaker Shire is paying approximately $5.9 billion for Massachusetts-based Dyax Corp., a biotech firm focused on a rare disease called hereditary angioedema (HAE). Dyax’s lead candidate, DX-2930, is a fully humanized monoclonal antibody targeting plasma kallikrein, which is dysregulated in HAE. According to a statement from Shire, DX-2930 is expected to enter Phase 3 trials by the end of this year.

“Shire’s expertise and proven rare disease patient identification and management capabilities make it the ideal partner to efficiently bring DX-2930 to HAE patients worldwide,” Gustav Christensen, president and chief executive of Dyax, said in the statement.

This January, Shire paid $5.2 billion for New Jersey-based NPS Pharmaceuticals. In the statement, Shire Chief Executive Officer Flemming Ornskov said his firm is now eyeing other acquisitions, including that of the Illinois-based biopharma Baxalta.

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