Sunday, 22 July, 2018


Shire share price outperforms as group offloads oncology business

Shire are displayed at a chemist's in northwest London Britain Shire are displayed at a chemist's in northwest London Thomson Reuters
Conrad Doyle | 16 April, 2018, 17:23

Shire, the London-listed rare diseases specialist that is a potential takeover target for Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical, is selling its oncology.

But Monday's news that Shire has sold off its cancer treatment unit - which includes its ONCASPAR (leukaemia) and ONIVYDE (pancreas) treatments - has thrown that possible takeover into doubt.

Takeda said earlier this year that it might make an offer for Shire to beef up its core therapeutic areas. Takeda declined to comment further on Monday.

The UK Takeover Panel gave the Japanese firm a deadline of April 25 to announce a firm intention to bid or walk away.

Ornskov added that the company would consider returning the proceeds to shareholders through a share-buyback "after the current offer period regarding Takeda's possible offer concludes".

Shire Chief Executive Flemming Ornskov said the sale of the oncology business to Servier demonstrated the value embedded in Shire as shares in the company rose 0.5 percent by 0835 GMT.

The drugs industry has seen a surge in deal-making this year as large players look for promising assets to improve their pipelines, but a Takeda-Shire transaction would be by far the biggest yet. In 2017, the oncology business generated revenues of $262 million.

"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.

The portfolio also includes Calaspargase Pegol (Cal-PEG), which is under U.S. review for the treatment of ALL and early stage immuno-oncology pipeline collaborations, the firm noted. The process identified multiple potential strategic buyers across the U.S., Europe and Japan, Shire said.

Shire gained as much as 3.5 percent to 3,732 pence in early trading in London.

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