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7 September 2018Biotechnology

Shire buys Swiss plasma collection company

Biotech company Shire yesterday revealed plans to acquire a Switzerland-based plasma collection company.

Shire’s acquisition of Sanaplasma is aimed at increasing Shire’s access to plasma in the long term.

The deal also adds 14 new centres in the Czech Republic and Hungary to Shire’s European-based plasma collection network.

Plasma is essential to the manufacture of immunoglobulin therapies—which help treat patients living with rare immunological diseases.

Immunology, Shire’s largest franchise, produced $4.4 billion in product sales (18% growth on a pro-forma basis) in 2017. The rise was mostly driven by increased global demand for subcutaneous and intravenous immunoglobulin brands.

Sue Brown, vice president of global operations for Shire BioLife Plasma Services, said: “The combination of Sanaplasma’s 14 plasma centres in the Czech Republic and Hungary with our more than 100 BioLife centres in the US and Austria will help us to meet the continuously growing demand for plasma-derived medicines.”

Martin Lukas, co-owner of Sanaplasma, added that he was looking forward to working with Shire during the transition to help ensure “continuity of supply, know-how transfer, and a smooth handover”.

Earlier this year, in April, Shire announced its plan to sell its oncology business for $2.4 billion to pharmaceutical company Servier.

At the time, Flemming Ornskov, CEO of Shire, said that while the oncology business has delivered high growth and profitability, it is not core to Shire’s longer-term strategy.

Just one month later, in May, Japan-based Takeda agreed to acquire Shire for $62 billion. Shire had previously rejected four offers from Takeda.

In July, Takeda received unconditional approval from the US Federal Trade Commission.

Christophe Weber, president and CEO of Takeda, said in August that the offer is still subject to an approval process that involves shareholders and regulators, but that progress was being made on the plan to bring the two companies together.

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