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Shire plc has joined Agios Pharmaceuticals in announcing the appointment of Ian Clark to the Board of Directors.
Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based company developing antifungal agents for the treatment of life-threatening fungal infections, has appointed Michael Hodges as chief medical officer, Karen Shaw as vice president of biology, and Elizabeth Gordon as vice president of regulatory affairs. The firm recently raised an USD8.7 million investment from 3×5 Partners, increasing its series B financing to USD49.2 million.
Shire plc has appointed Sara Mathew to its Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director. Sara will also be a member of the Audit, Compliance & Risk Committee of the Shire Board. Both appointments will be effective as of September 1, 2015.
Fresh from announcing that the company will acquire Foresight BioTherapeutics for $300m (here), Shire stepped up its ambitions to acquire the recently spun-out Baxalta, which went public earlier this summer (here). Shire originally approached the Baxalta Board of Directors earlier in July about the coming together of the the two companies, since when the Baxalta Board have been ignoring Shire’s advances, which has promoted Shire to go public with its $30.6bn all-stock offer. This hostile move is aimed at drawing out Baxalta shareholders in an attempt to push the Board to enter negotiations. Shire held an investor call today where it laid out its rationale for the deal and articulated how it would allow the company to reach a $20bn revenue company by 2020 and become the undisputed rare disease leader (here).
In the recent analyst call for Shire’s Q2 results, CEO Flemming Ornskov suggested that the company was still scouting for acquisitions which would bolster the pipeline in the strategic areas he has set out as priorities. Cognizant that valuations are looking stretched in some areas of biotech, not least rare diseases, the Shire philosophy was seemingly was to look for good value.
Alexion took everyone by surprise in recent weeks by announcing a very sizable acquisition of Boston-based Synageva for $8.4bn. This was a significant deal which will only serve to strengthen valuations of rare disease biotechnology companies, which continue to be in the M&A cross-hairs of both pharmaceutical and big-biotech companies.
Authored by James Sheppard