Shire offloads oncology business for $2.4bn

Genmab and Immatics developing next-gen bispecific cancer immunotherapies
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Shire is selling its oncology business to French pharma outfit Servier in a $2.4 billion deal that provides the latter with an immediate presence in the US.

Shire’s Oncology business includes in-market products ONCASPAR (pegaspargase), a component of multi-agent treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and ex-US rights to ONIVYDE (irinotecan pegylated liposomal formulation), a component of multi-agent treatment for metastatic pancreatic cancer post gemcitabine-based therapy.

The portfolio also includes Calaspargase Pegol (Cal-PEG), which is under FDA review for the treatment of ALL and early stage immuno-oncology pipeline collaborations.

“This transaction is a key milestone for Shire, demonstrating the clear value embedded in our portfolio,” said Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov.

“While the Oncology business has delivered high growth and profitability, we have concluded that it is not core to Shire’s longer-term strategy.

“We will continue to evaluate our portfolio for opportunities to unlock further value and sharpen our focus on rare disease leadership with selective disposals of non-strategic assets.

“We are confident that Servier will continue to invest in this business and our colleagues who are expected to transfer as part of the transaction in order to meet the needs of cancer patients globally.

“The proceeds from the transaction increase optionality and Shire’s Board will consider returning the proceeds of the sale to shareholders through a shareholder-approved share buyback after the current offer period regarding Takeda’s possible offer for Shire concludes.”

Olivier Laureau, Servier Group President, added: “The acquisition of Shire’s oncology franchise enables Servier to meet its strategic ambitions to become a global key player in oncology.

“As an essential step in the evolution of the Group, this acquisition allows us to establish a direct commercial presence in the United States, the world’s leading pharmaceuticals market, and to strengthen our portfolio of marketed products in the territories where Servier is already present.

“Our goal is to bring these treatments to greater numbers of cancer patients around the world. We thoroughly look forward to welcoming Shire’s oncology teams who will join Servier after the closing.”