Shire rejigs manufacturing deal to step up Cinryze production

Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov

Shire has big plans for rare-disease drug Cinryze, which it acquired through its ViroPharma buyout. And it's struck a new deal to make sure it has the capacity to realize them.

The Dublin drugmaker inked a new agreement with Sanquin Blood Supply--previously Cinryze's exclusive manufacturer under a pact with ViroPharma--granting Shire ($SHPG) access to its manufacturing technology and allowing the company to branch out to other manufacturers to meet growing demand for the hereditary angioedema drug.

"We wanted the freedom to operate and expand in a way that makes strategic sense for our business," Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov said in a statement. "… We're pleased that Sanquin was open to expanding our partnership and agreeing to support us as we increase production options for this important therapy."

A central piece of Shire's $4.2 billion deal for ViroPharma in 2013, Cinryze prevents acute attacks of swelling in patients with hereditary angioedema. And Shire already had its own treatment for the malady in Firazyr--a therapy that treats the swelling attacks--which it saw as complementary to Cinryze.

Last year, the med raked in $503 million in sales, Shire noted--and increased demand means a top-line boost is on the way. The therapy boasts one of the highest price tags in pharma, in 2013 bearing a sticker of $230,826 per U.S. patient per year.

Meanwhile, Shire is working to broaden its rare-disease focus and diversify beyond its flagship ADHD franchise. To that end, it recently put up a $30 billion bid for new Baxter spinoff and hematology expert Baxalta ($BXLT), which the Illinois pharma subsequently rejected.

- read Shire's release

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