Shire, fresh from the collapse of its $55 billion takeover by AbbVie, has been touting its pipeline to investors in the USA, highlighting treatments which could contribute $3 billion in sales by 2020.
Speaking to investors at Shire’s US headquarters in Lexington, Massachusetts, chief executive Flemming Ornskov said that there were 22 programmes in the clinic, “the most in Shire’s history”. R&D head Philip Vickers added that “a number of significant clinical milestones [are] anticipated over the next 18 months”, saying the “highly productive internal pipeline” will be “complemented by the acquisition of external assets and innovative collaborations”.
Chief among these treatments is SHP607, a protein replacement therapy which has just received fast-track designation from the the US Food and Administration for the prevention of retinopathy of prematurity, a blinding eye disorder that affects premature babies. It is currently in Phase II.
Staying with things ocular, lifitegrast for dry eye disease will be filed in the first quarter of 2015. Shire also highlighted SHP625 for the rare genetic disorder Alagille Syndrome and SHP626 for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, a condition characterized by fat deposits in the liver. The company also has an action date of February 1 for its attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder blockbuster Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) as a potential treatment for binge eating disorder.
Shire also announced that it is receiving up to $15 million from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to support its messenger RNA technology platform for the disease.
The company said its goal is to deliver mRNA that codes for a fully functional version of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance (CFTR) protein to the lungs of CF patients. If high enough levels of functional CFTR protein can be produced, lung function may be improved.
By Kevin Grogan