Shire buys US drugs delivery firm for pounds 105m

Shire Pharmaceuticals, the small group floated a year ago, is to increase its size by more than two-thirds following a deal to pay up to $170m (pounds 105m) for Pharmavene, a US drugs delivery company based in Maryland.

The news came as Core Group, a company specialising in sustained release drug delivery products, announced that its pounds 73m stock market flotation had been "heavily oversubscribed" at 250p a share.

To part finance the Pharmavene deal and other acquisitions being contemplated, Shire is raising pounds 11.5m by way of a one-for-10 placing and offer at 214p a share. The group is also understood to be in negotiations for the purchase of an unnamed company in Europe and a product range in the UK for total of pounds 14m.

Despite the flood of new equity, the share price dropped just 3.5p to 234p yesterday as analysts welcomed the deal and news of lower-than-expected losses of pounds 105,000 in the latest six months. Dr Rolf Stahel, Shire's chief executive, said it had effectively achieved break-even in six months, rather than the 12 months forecast by the market.

Pharmavene gives Shire another 11 potential new products, taking the pipeline to 30. The US group has created a high-throughput method of screening how well particular drug formulations penetrate human cells in the laboratory. It is applying the results in 11 projects to develop technologies for the delivery and release of drugs more effectively into the body.

The lead product is Carbatrol, a controlled release form of carbamazepine, a drug used in the treatment of epilepsy. Carbatrol, which is licensed to Athena, part of the Irish drugs delivery group Elan, could be launched later this year. If successful, it would compete directly with Novartis' Tegretol drug, which had sales of $340m in 1994.

Another product under development is a more efficient version of Glaxo Wellcome's Zovirax anti-herpes drug. But the bigger potential could come from an oral form of Calcitonin, used for the treatment of brittle bones, which could attack a world market currently put at $5bn.

Separately, Oxford Molecular, a biotechnology group, announced that it was investing pounds 500,000 in Cambridge Combinatorial, a new drug research company run by Allan Marchington, the brother of Oxford's chief executive Tony Marchington.

Oxford will take a 20 per cent stake in Cambridge. The new company plans to use combinatorial chemistry to supply potential drug prospects to other drug and biotech groups. It claims it will have an edge on similar companies by providing a narrower range of compounds for screening as new drug prospects.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee