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Home Industry News Shire acquires new drug candidate for metachromatic leukodystrophy

Shire acquires new drug candidate for metachromatic leukodystrophy

29th April 2008

Shire has announced the acquisition of a new clinical candidate for metachromatic leukodystrophy to enhance its orphan drug pipeline.

The firm has purchased arylsulfatase-A (ASA), an enzyme replacement therapy currently in phase I and II trials, from Danish firm Zymenex.

Under the terms of the deal, Shire will pay Zymenex $135 million (67.9 million pounds) for the global rights to the product, with Zymenex also providing transition services for six months after completion.

The agreement does not include any downstream payment obligations or royalties.

Arylsulfatase-A is currently known as Metazym and has completed a phase Ib clinical trial in 12 patients with metachromatic leukodystrophy while an extension to this study is ongoing.

Sylvie Gregoire, president of human genetic therapies at Shire, said: “This product fits very well with Shire’s ERT portfolio of treatments for lysosomal storage disorders.

She added that the company is committed to metachromatic leukodystrophy and hoped that this acquisition would bring a treatment for the condition to patients two years earlier than previously thought.

In February 2008, senior vice-president of leadership development at Shire Pharmaceuticals Charlotte Sibley was named Woman of the Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.

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