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Ireland’s Shire to acquire NPS Pharmaceuticals for $5.2bn

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Irish drugmaker Shire has signed a merger agreement to acquire US-based NPS Pharmaceuticals for $5.2bn.

As part of the deal, Shire will acquire NPS Pharma's outstanding shares for $46 per share in cash. The transaction was approved by the board of directors of both firms.

Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov said: "The acquisition of NPS Pharma is a significant step in advancing Shire's strategy to become a leading biotechnology company.

"With our global strength and expertise in both rare diseases and GI, Shire is uniquely positioned to drive the continued success of Gattex / Revestive, and, if approved, commercialise NPS Pharma's pipeline compound Natpara / Natpar."

NPS produces Gattex / Revestive [teduglutide (rDNA origin)] for injection, which was approved in the US and Europe to treat adults with short bowel syndrome (SBS) who are dependent on parenteral support.

"Shire will acquire NPS Pharma's outstanding shares for $46 per share in cash."

The company also holds a registration phase product, Natpara / Natpar (rhPTH-83) to treat hypoparathyroidism (HPT).

NPS Pharma president Francois Nader said: "We believe that joining our two companies will drive value for shareholders and ensure we continue to transform the lives of patients with short bowel syndrome, hypoparathyroidism, and autosomal dominant hypocalcaemia worldwide."

The firm is also investigating NPSP 795, a small molecule antagonist of the calcium-sensing receptor that is expected to play a key role in the distribution of PTH-83 throughout the body.

In addition, the company is carrying out Phase IIa trial, assessing its lead pipeline candidate NPSP 795 to treat adults with autosomal dominant hypocalcaemia.

NPS has several partnerships, under which Amgen markets cinacalcet HCl as Sensipar in the US and as Mimpara in the EU, while Janssen markets tapentadol as Nucynta in the US and Kyowa Hakko markets cinacalcet HCI as Regpara in Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macau, Singapore and Taiwan.

With gross assets valued at $282.2m as of 30 September 2014, NPS operates in the US Canada, Europe, Latin America and Japan.