Shire has negotiated exclusive global rights to develop Parion Sciences’ Phase II-stage epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) inhibitor P-321 for the potential treatment of dry eye. Parion could earn up to $535 million through the deal, including an initial $20 million up-front license fee, and potentially $20 million in near-term development milestones. Parion also retains separate options to co-fund certain stages of P-321 development, and to co-fund commericialization, in return for additional tiered double-digit royalties and financial benefits associated with commercialization.

“Advancing P-321 with Shire, an emerging global leader in ophthalmics, offers the expertise and resources to move this promising potential therapy for dry eye sufferers forward,” said Paul Boucher, president and CEO at Parion, which is based in Durham, NC. “This collaborative license agreement enables us the opportunity to contribute and participate in P-321's success, while continuing our drive to progress Parion's pipeline of novel therapies.”

P-321 is believed to work by blocking the absorption of tears, which helps to keep the eye surface hydrated. The firm started a Phase II study with P-321 ophthalmic solution for treating dry eye in July 2016.

Parion is developing a pipeline of clinical and preclinical therapies that target deficiencies in the innate mucosal surfaces of the eyes or airways. In 2015, the firm established a potentially $1 billion-plus collaboration with Vertex Pharmaceuticals to develop ENaC inhibitors for the potential treatment of cystic fibrosis and other pulmonary diseases. 

Within the last week, Shire reported relocating its Ireland HQ office to a new 76,000-ft2 site in Dublin city center. Also within the last week, the European Commission granted conditional marketing authorization for Shire’s full-length recombinant human parathyroid hormone Natpar® (rhPTH[1-84]) as adjunctive therapy for chronic hypoparathyroidism. 

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