FerroKin projects once-daily oral tablet could reach the market by 2016.

Shire is buying FerroKin BioSciences for $100 million up front, with an eye on the latter’s Phase II-stage iron chelator candidate FBS0701. The deal could be worth another $225 million to FerroKin in the form of future clinical development, regulatory, and commercial milestones. Shire says the acquisition will bolster its hematology business, which includes the marketed drug Xagridfor reducing platelet counts in at risk patients with essential thrombocythemia (ET) patients.

FerroKin’s FBS0701 is a once-daily oral capsule in development for treating iron overload due to chronic blood transfusions in adults and children. The candidate has been granted orphan drug designation in the U.S. and Europe and is progressing through Phase II trials. FerroKin projects first market launch of the drug could potentially be achieved in 2016.

Shire says estimates suggest the global market for iron chelation is currently worth over $900 million and is growing. “This acquisition marks and important step for Shire in building a business that serves the growing needs of specialty hematologists and their patients,” states Ross Murdoch, svp for hematology at Shire Specialty Pharmaceuticals. “There remains a significant unmet need for a once-a-day, oral iron chelator in a convenient dosage form for the treatment of transfusional iron overload with a better safety profile than currently available treatments. We hope to use our expertise in hematology coupled with our proven ability to progress products through the development pipeline to bring FBS0701 to the global marketplace.”

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