Attractive market opportunity and good strategic fit draw Shire’s interest.
Shire said it would by FerroKin BioSciences for $100 million in cash and up to $225 million in milestones. The company has developed an experimental drug in mid-stage clinical testing to treat iron overload in anemic patients.
The drug, known as FBS0701, fits with Shire’s strategy of obtaining and developing orphan drugs and has already won orphan status in both Europe and the United States. FerroKin has been in the process of gathering additional proof-of-concept data for FBS0701 prior to the announced acquisition.
“There remains a significant unmet need for a once-a-day, oral iron chelator in a convenient dosage form for the treatment of transfusional iron overload with a better safety profile than current available treatments,” says Shire’s hematology chief, Ross Murdoch. “We believe FB0701 has the potential to meet that need.”
Shire says that the global market for iron chelators is at $900 million and growing and believes that FBS0701 has the potential to launch as early as 2016.
FerroKin had amassed a total of $27 million in financings since its inception in 2007, including a $12 million financing round closed in the summer of 2010. Burrill & Company, publisher of The Burrill Report, is an investor in FerroKin.
By VINAY SINGH