Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov has yet another setback to grapple with as his company winds toward the end of a strange year. The FDA has rejected the company's application for the dry-eye drug lifitegrast, a key drug that the biotech has billed as a blockbuster earner, despite its mixed record in the clinic.
After getting stiff-armed by the newly independent management at Baxter's biotech spinoff Baxalta, Shire is going public with its offer to acquire the company for $30.6 billion in shares. The deal marks Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov's play to make a landmark acquisition that can vault the company into the big leagues, after being left at the altar last year by AbbVie.
Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov is spending $300 million of his cache of cash on a new ophthalmology buyout. Ornskov has pulled the trigger on a deal to snap up Foresight Biotherapeutics, adding a new bolt-on group with plans to take an eye drug into Phase III.
Shire has struck a deal to buy NPS Pharma and its rare disease drug portfolio for $46 a share, or $5.2 billion, making headlines for its go-it-alone strategy on the eve of the big JP Morgan conference in San Francisco.
In an interview with Investor's Business Daily, Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov hints that he'd like to do something similar to the $4.5 billion ViroPharma acquisition, which added a new product to the portfolio while helping spur sales of an existing drug.
Analysts generally believe that big takeovers are easier to pull off under the U.K.'s M&A guidelines. But you'd better not ignore the very specific rules of the game. AbbVie got a lesson on that score yesterday after CEO Richard Gonzalez confidently confided to a number of major news outlets, including the Financial Times and Reuters, that he had already chatted up most of Shire's big investors and won their support for a $51 billion buyout.
Even as reports of a prospective takeover bid from Allergan circulate, Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov shows no sign of slowing down on the company's deal spree. The biotech is buying Australia's Fibrotech for $75 million upfront and a string of undisclosed milestones, bringing in a lead drug for fibrosis.
One of the first deals Flemming Ornskov struck as the new CEO of Shire has soured quickly. The company says that its therapy for dry eye, lifitegrast, missed one of two key endpoints in a Phase III study, raising some serious questions about its future.
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Shire is prepping a plan to cut back on its sizable research operations in Basingstoke, U.K.--another setback for the country's research industry with Novartis axing more than 500 staffers and consultants in Horsham following major blows from AstraZeneca and Pfizer.