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Shire acquires ADHD presence in Europe

Published on 23/02/09 at 12:18pm

Shire has bought the global rights for two established treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder from UCB.

The acquisition gives Shire an immediate European presence in the therapy area and could also help mitigate losses from the looming US patent expiry of its older ADHD drug Adderall XR.

Shire will pay UCB Euros 55 million for worldwide rights, excluding the US, Canada and Barbados, to Equasym XL and Equasym IR, which last year generated sales of Euros 16.9m.

As part of the transaction approximately 20 sales and sale management personnel will be transferred from UCB to Shire, providing an established sales force for Equasym and the rest of the portfolio. The acquisition is then expected to boost profits from 2010.

The deal will also open doors for Shire's other ADHD product Vyvanse, which was launched in the US in July 2007 and is currently in phase III trials in Europe.

Michael Cola, president of Shire's specialty pharmaceuticals business, added: "The acquisition of the Equasym franchise accelerates the establishment of Shire's ADHD presence in markets outside of North America.

"Our expertise and portfolio of ADHD products will provide a strong foundation from which we can offer innovative treatments for adults and children with ADHD."

Shire has long been a leader in ADHD therapy in the US, where Adderall XR accounts for more than 20% of the market, but the company lacked a presence in Europe.

The company found European psychiatrists divided on the existence and treatment of the condition and so it didn't pursue a European marketing licence for Adderall XR. But attitudes are now changing and the deal with UCB will position Shire to take advantage of this.

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