Shire has acquired Premacure AB of Uppsala, Sweden, a privately held biotechnology company, for an undisclosed upfront payment and development and commercial milestones. Premacure has a protein replacement therapy currently in Phase II for the prevention of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a rare and potentially blinding eye disorder that primarily affects premature infants. Currently only symptomatic treatment is available for ROP. The acquisition expands Shire’s therapeutic area into neonatology.
"ROP is a devastating eye disorder that can severely impact preterm infants for the rest of their lives," said Flemming Ornskov, MD, chief executive officer Designate, Shire. "This investigational protein has the potential to provide a first-in-class treatment that may minimize the development and impact of complications arising from ROP. We will build on the work that Premacure has done and will apply Shire's proven ability in developing protein replacement therapies for rare disorders to bring this much needed therapy to the market."
"The acquisition of Premacure by Shire further underscores the potential to change the long-term outlook for preterm infants with ROP and their families," said Jan Borg, founding chief executive officer of Premacure. "We are excited that this program will become part of the innovative pipeline at Shire and believe that their experience and Resources may accelerate the development of a product that seeks to prevent some of the devastating long-term consequences of ROP."