Shire (pharmaceutical company)

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Shire Plc
Public limited company
Industry Pharmaceuticals
Predecessor Shire Pharmaceuticals Group Plc
Founded 1986; 30 years ago (1986)
Headquarters Registered Office: St Helier, Jersey
Corporate HQ: Dublin, Ireland
UK Operations: Basingstoke, England
Key people
Susan Kilsby (Chairman)
Flemming Ørnskov, MD (CEO)
Revenue $6,022.1 million (2014)[1]
$2,593.0 million (2014)[1]
$2,088.5 million (2014)[1]
Number of employees
5,300 (2014)[2]

Shire Plc is a Jersey-registered, Irish-headquartered global specialty biopharmaceutical company.[3] Originating in the United Kingdom with a large operational base in the United States, its brands and products include Vyvanse, Adderall XR, Intuniv, Lialda, Pentasa, Fosrenol, Replagal, Elaprase, VPRIV, Firazyr and Dermagraft.

Shire has its primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It had a market capitalisation of approximately £23 billion as of 3 February 2015, making it the 22nd-largest capitalisation on the London Stock Exchange.[4] Shire has a secondary listing on NASDAQ.


Shire was founded by Harry Stratford, Dr James Murray, Dennis Stephens, Peter Moriarty, and Geoff Hall in 1986.[5] It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1996.[5] Shire's initial products were calcium supplements (Calcichew-D3) for patients seeking to treat or prevent osteoporosis. In 1997 the company acquired Pharmavene for £105 million in order to access Pharmavenes drug delivery methods.[6] Later in the same year Shire acquired Richwood Pharmaceutical Company, forming Shire-Richwood Inc.[7]

In 2001 the company acquired Biochem Canada.[8] Shires next acquisition didn't come until 2005 when it acquired Transkaryotic Therapeutics[9] and two years later - in 2007 - New River Pharmaceuticals Inc, for a then company record of $2.6 billion.[10] With the purchase of New River, Shire gained access and ownership of Vyvanse. A year late the company acquired the German company Jerini, for $521 million. Jerini focussed on treating hereditary angioedema.[11]

2010 saw a change in company strategy, with the company seeking to expand through mergers and acquisitions - culminating in the company becoming one of the most acquisitive in the industry. In 2010 the company acquired Movetis, a Belgian company focussing on gastrointestinal products for $565 million,[12] a year later it acquired regenerative medicine manufacturer Advanced BioHealing.[13] In 2012 the company acquired FerroKin BioSciences for $325 million along with FerroKins lead iron chelator - FBS0701.[14] 2013 saw the company complete its highest number of acquisitions with; Lotus Tissue Repair, Inc. and its lead compound ABH001,[15] Premacure AB,[16] SARcode Bioscience Inc.,[17] with the last being ViroPharma. At $4.2 billion, ViroPharma set a new company record.[18] In 2014 Shire acquired two rare disease drug companies; Fibrotech[19] with its antifibrotic compounds for $75 million and Lumena, a company researching rare gastro-intestinal and hepatic compounds, for $260 million.[20]

Aborted AbbVie takeover[edit]

On 20 June 2014, Shire rejected a takeover attempt by AbbVie. AbbVie offered £46.11 per share (£27.3 billion or $46.5 billion in total).[21] On 8 July the offer was increased to $51.5 billion.[22] On 18 July, it was announced that AbbVie would acquire Shire for $54.8 billion.[23] On 15 October, news broke suggesting AbbVie was reconsidering their proposed takeover deal due to changes in US "Tax Inversion" law [24] and on 16 October AbbVie's board recommended that shareholders vote against the deal.[25] This news sent Shire's share price down over 27%, however AbbVie will be subject to a $1.6 billion break up fee, payable to Shire.[26] On 21 October the merger was called off.[27]

In 2015, NPS Pharmaceuticals was acquired for $5.2 billion, bringing along its rare disease drugs Gattex and Natpara.[28][29] The company also acquired, later in the same year Meritage Pharma for $245 million, Foresight Biotherapeutics for $300 million[30] and Dyax for $6.5 billion.[31][32] The purchases bolstered Shires Gastro-intestinal and rare disease sectors, with Phase-III ready treatment - Budesonide - for the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis. As well as expanding the company's pipeline with a late-stage treatment candidate for infectious conjunctivitis with lead candidate FST-100 and increased the companies rare disease catalogue with Dyax’s portfolio of plasma kallikrein inhibitors against hereditary angioedema (led by the approved drug Kalbitor and the Phase III DX-2930). In January 2016, the company made its most significant purchase, with the $32 billion acquisition of Baxalta|, creating the largest global biotech company focused solely on rare diseases.[33]


Acquisition history[edit]

The following is an illustration of the company's major mergers and acquisitions and historical predecessors (this is not a comprehensive list):

Shire Plc


(Acq 2015 by Shire)

Foresight Biotherapeutics
(Acq 2015 by Shire)

Meritage Pharma
(Acq 2015 by Shire)

NPS Pharmaceuticals
(Acq 2015 by Shire)


(Acq 2014 by Shire)

(Acq 2014 by Shire)


(Acq 2013 by Shire)

Lev Pharmaceuticals

SARcode Bioscience Inc
(Acq 2013 by Shire)

Premacure AB
(Acq 2013 by Shire)

Lotus Tissue Repair, Inc
(Acq 2013 by Shire)


FerroKin BioSciences
(Acq 2012 by Shire)

(Acq 2012 by Shire)


Advanced BioHealing
(Acq 2011 by Shire)


(Acq 2008 by Shire)


New River Pharmaceuticals Inc
(Acq 2007 by Shire)


Transkaryotic Therapeutics
(Acq 2005 by Shire)

Biochem Canada
(Acq 2001 by Shire)

Shire–Richmond, Inc

Richwood Pharmaceutical Company
(Acq 1997 by Shire)

(Acq 1997 by Shire)


Shire develops and provides healthcare in the areas of behavioural health, gastrointestinal conditions, rare diseases, and regenerative medicine.


A container of Adderall XR
Name Annual revenue ($M)[1] Indication
Vyvanse $1,029.8M Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Adderall XR $429.0M Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Replagal $497.5M Fabry disease (lysosomal storage disorder)
Elaprase $497.6M Hunter syndrome (lysosomal storage disorder)
Lialda/Mezavant $399.9M Gastrointestinal (Ulcerative colitis)
VPRIV $306.6M Type 1 Gaucher disease
Pentasa $265.8M Gastrointestinal (Ulcerative colitis)
Intuniv $287.8M Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Fosrenol $172.0M Renal disease
Dermagraft $153.8M Diabetic Foot Ulcers ("DFU")
Firazyr $116.3M (Hereditary angioedema)
Other (including Xagrid, Equasym, and Resolor) $250.6M

In July 2014, Shire licensed the rights to the investigational Hunter syndrome compound, AGT-182, from ArmaGen for up to $225 million.[35] Shires pipeline also includes the phase II compound, SHP609, aimed at treating CNS disorders associated with Hunters syndrome.

Royalty income[edit]

Name Annual revenue[1] Indication Licensee
Adderall XR $70.3M Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Imapx and Teva
3TC (Lamivudine) and Zeffix (Lamivudine) $91.6M HIV and Chronic hepatitis B GlaxoSmithKline
Fosrenol $53.3M Renal disease Bayer Yakuhin
Other $26.4M


The original corporate headquarters and still major operation base are located in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. Other major offices are located in the United States in Wayne, Pennsylvania and Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition, Shire owns a manufacturing site in Lexington, Massachusetts and San Diego, California. It announced in November 2013 that it would be further reducing its presence in the UK.[36]

Tax avoidance[edit]

Leaked tax rulings, date 16 July 2010, signed by Marius Kohl

In 2008, in reaction to new taxation measures announced by the Labour Party in the treatment of royalties on patents, the company moved its tax domicile to Dublin, Ireland.[37] Effected through the creation of a new holding company in St Helier, Jersey in the Channel Islands, it will pay reduced tax on global earnings, where royalties on patents lodged in Ireland are tax free.

Corporate leadership[edit]

The non-executive board chairman is Susan Kilsby.[38] Flemming Ørnskov, MD, has been the company's chief executive officer since mid-2013.[39] James Bowling, Interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO).[40] It was reported in October 2014 that James Bowling would vacate the interim CFO position and leave Shire by the end of March 2015.[41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Preliminary Results 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Careers". Shire plc. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Contact Us". Shire plc. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "FTSE All-Share Index Ranking". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Our History - Shire". 
  6. ^ Shire buys US drugs delivery firm for pounds 105m
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  19. ^ "Fibrotech acquired by Shire for US$75M plus milestones". FierceBiotech. 
  20. ^ "GEN - News Highlights:Shire Acquires Lumena for $260M+". GEN. 
  21. ^ David Welch, Matthew Campbell and Simeon Bennett (21 June 2014). "AbbVie Said to Consider New Bid After Shire Rejects Offer". Bloomberg. 
  22. ^ Caroline Chen, Drew Armstrong and Simeon Bennett (8 July 2014). "AbbVie Raises Offer for Shire to $51.5 Billion". Bloomberg. 
  23. ^ Simeon Bennett and Caroline Chen (19 July 2014). "AbbVie Is Biggest to Quit U.S. Address in $55 Billion Shire Deal". Bloomberg. 
  24. ^ Albertina Torsoli, Kristen Hallam and Oliver Staley (15 October 2014). "AbbVie Reconsidering Shire Sends Inversion Targets Down". Bloomberg. 
  25. ^ Albertina Torsoli, Manuel Baigorri and Matthew Campbell (16 October 2014). "AbbVie Board Recommends Holders Vote Against Shire Deal". Bloomberg. 
  26. ^ Albertina Torsoli, Manuel Baigorri and Matthew Campbell (16 October 2014). "Shire Shares Extend Drop After AbbVie Backtracks on Deal". Bloomberg. 
  27. ^ Philippidis, Alex (21 October 2014). "AbbVie, Shire Call Off $51.7B Merger". GEN News Highlights. Gen. Eng. Biotechnol. News. 
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  34. ^ Hoffman, Liz (20 October 2014). "Paulson Urges Allergan/Shire Tie-up". MoneyBeat. The Wall Street Journal. 
  35. ^ "GEN - News Highlights:ArmaGen Licenses AGT-182 Rights to Shire for Up to $225M". GEN. 
  36. ^ "Shire delivers fresh blow to UK life sciences". Financial Times. 10 November 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013. (subscription required)
  37. ^ Shire moves to Ireland for tax Irish Examiner, April 2008
  38. ^ "Board of Directors". Shire. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  39. ^ Bennett, Simeon (10 June 2013). "Shire’s New CEO Adds Sales Staff, Damps Takeover Talk". Bloomberg Business News. 
  40. ^ "Executive Leadership Committee". Shire. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  41. ^ Minkoff, Yoel (20 October 2014). "Shire CFO calls it quits". Seeking Alpha (United States). 

External links[edit]