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techkenyot.com May 22, 2018


Shire to Sell Oncology Business to Servier for $2.4 Billion

16 April 2018, 03:46 | Hattie Nash

Shire specialises in drugs for rare diseases

Shire specialises in drugs for rare diseases

Shire announced it's selling its oncology business to French immuno-oncology company Servier for $2.4 billion.

This development, however, complicates a prospective takeover by Japan's Takeda.

The divestment of the cancer business may be a deterrent for Takeda, since oncology was one of the areas it had highlighted as driving the case for a Shire deal, along with gastrointestinal medicine and neuroscience. Takeda declined to comment further on Monday. Cancer isn't one of the Shire's major units, with $262 million in 2017 sales, or about 1.8 percent of the company's total. The process identified multiple potential strategic buyers across the U.S., Europe and Japan, Shire said. They might be returned to shareholders in the form of a share buyback, Shire says, when the Takeda offer period is over.

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"While the oncology business has delivered high growth and profitability, we have concluded that it is not core to Shire's longer-term strategy", said CEO Flemming Ornskov, the key narrator in Shire's makeover story, in a statement.

Shire itself also has a track record of acquisitions, but its biggest ever deal - the $32- billion purchase of Baxalta in 2016 - was widely criticized by shareholders.

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), which is part of a treatment regimen for metastatic pancreatic cancer post gemcitabine-based therapy.

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Its oncology business had sales of $262-million a year ago, putting the divestment on a respectable revenue multiple of 9.2 times.

"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", Laureau said.

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