Dublin-based Shire announced its all-cash purchase of privately held Foresight Biotherapeutics, expanding the pharmaceutical company’s ability to develop medicine against viral and bacterial forms of conjunctivitis.
UK-listed Shire has been increasing its investment in eyecare while also pushing for approval from regulators for its own treatment for dry-eye disease, lifitegrast.
“Ophthalmics is a highly attractive growth area for Shire and this acquisition allows us to strengthen our presence,” said Flemming Ornskov, Shire chief executive.
Foresight’s drug, known as FST-100 is a perfect companion medicine to lifitegrast for a pharmaceutical company. If both obtain approval for use then together they will “address two of the leading reasons people seek eyecare treatment,” Mr Ornskov said.
Last year Shire created a dedicated opthalmics division, separate from its main business selling treatments for rare diseases and attention deficit Hyperactivity disorder.
Shire purchased Foresight for $300 million as it’s stock is trading at near-record prices of £57.30, considerably more than the £52.48 per share that AbbVie of the US tried to pay last year in its takeover bid, which eventually fell through.