Shire to acquire biotech Dyax in US$5.9bn deal

Published: 2-Nov-2015

Furthers Shire’s ambition to become a leading global biotech and world leader in rare diseases

Shire has agreed to buy US biotechnology company Dyax in a deal worth approximately US$5.9bn.

Massachusetts-based Dyax is primarily focused on the development of plasma kallikrein (pKal) inhibitors for the treatment of hereditary angioedema (HAE), a debilitating and sometimes life-threatening rare genetic disease. The firm has already successfully developed and commercialised Kalbitor, which is approved for HAE acute treatment in patients of 12 years of age and older.

The most advanced drug in Dyax’s pipeline is DX-2930, which has received orphan drug status in the EU and from the US Food and Drug Administration, and is expected to enter Phase III clinical trials by the end of this year.

If approved for the prevention of Type 1 and Type 2 HAE, DX-2930 could generate estimated annual global sales of up to $2bn.

Shire will initially pay $37.30 per Dyax share, plus an additional $4.00 in cash per share upon FDA approval of DX-2930 for the prevention of type 1 and type 2 HAE, if approved before 31 December 2019, representing a potential additional $646m.

The transaction adds to our portfolio of therapies addressing unmet needs in our core therapeutic areas

Commenting on the deal, Shire Chief Executive Flemming Ornskov, said: 'This highly complementary transaction aligns with and accelerates our strategy to build a global leading biotechnology company focused on rare diseases and speciality conditions. It adds to our portfolio of therapies addressing unmet needs in our core therapeutic areas, expanding and extending our leadership position in HAE.'

He added that even with this deal, Shire 'will continue to have the financial firepower to pursue other value-added strategic acquisitions, including Baxalta'.

Dyax's President and Chief Executive Gustav Christensen added: 'We believe this transaction will deliver substantial value to our shareholders and highlights our shared commitment to bringing innovative medicines to patients who suffer from the devastating effects of HAE. Our approved product, Kalbitor, was an important first step to bringing a range of HAE medicines to patients. 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.'

In addition to DX-2930 for HAE, Dyax brings other early-stage, pre-clinical, antibody pipeline programmes, including exploration of DX-2930 for diabetic macular edema; DX-2507, an anti-FcRN for the treatment of antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases, and DX-4012, an anti-factor Xlla antibody for thrombosis.

The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both Shire and Dyax and is expected to close in the first half of 2016.

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