Shire expands haematology business with virtual company
Dublin – Irish drugmaker Shire plc has agreed to pay US-$100m in upfront for Ferrokin Biosciences Inc., a San Francisco-based specialist for iron chelation therapies. US-$225m could be added if certain milestones are achieved. FerroKin is a virtual company founded by Hugh Young Rienhoff in 2007. It is working on a once-daily oral capsule to treat chronic blood transfusion patients suffering from iron overload, which increases the risk of heart, liver or other organ failures. Lead candidate FBS-0701 is in Phase II testing. "An important factor for FerroKin BioSciences in agreeing to this transaction was Shire's drive, capability and vision to bring new products to the haematology market that promise to raise the standard of care for patients," Rienhoff said in a press release. "In Shire's hands, FBS-0701 has greater potential to fulfil that promise." FerroKin was financed by Burrill & Co., Clarus Ventures, HealthCap Ventures and MP Venture. The acquisition is a strategic fit for Shire which plans to build up its haematology business unit. Shire already sells Xagrid to treat the overproduction of blood platelets.