NEW YORK (AP) — Irish drugmaker Shire plc said Thursday it will pay $100 million to acquire FerroKin BioSciences Inc., a company that is developing a drug that helps the body eliminate excess iron.
Shire said it will pay $100 million upfront for FerroKin, and it could pay as much as $225 million more if the company’s main drug candidate progresses through clinical testing, gets approved, and reaches sales targets. FerroKin is developing a drug that is designed to reduce iron levels for adults and children who have received several blood transfusions. The drug is in mid-stage clinical testing, and Shire said it could be approved as early as 2016. FerroKin was founded in 2007 and is based in San Carlos, Calif.
FerroKin’s drug is an oral capsule that is taken once per day. Shire said the drug has received orphan drug incentives in both the U.S. and the European Union, meaning the regulatory process could be sped up and the product will get years of marketing exclusivity if it is approved.
Shire said it wants to begin marketing the drug for use by patients with myelodysplastic syndrome, a disease that affects the production of blood cells, and hemoglobinopathies, which are genetic conditions that affect hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells.
Shares of Shire fell $1.81 to $101.50 in afternoon trading.