Shire buys US drug firm ViroPharma for $4.2bn

Drug capsules Drug firms are seeking to acquire treatments which treat rarer diseases

UK-listed drug company Shire has agreed to buy the US's ViroPharma - a rare disease biopharmaceutical firm - for about $4.2bn (£2.6bn).

Shire will pay $50 for each ViroPharma share - a 27% premium on Friday's closing price.

The US firm makes drug Cinryze for the treatment of Hereditary Angioedema (HAE), a genetic immune disorder.

Shire shares closed up 1% in London. Shire is registered in Jersey and its HQ is in the Irish Republic.

Shire Plc

Last Updated at 01 Sep 2014, 11:36 ET *Chart shows local time Shire Plc intraday chart
price change %
4864.00 p -

"The acquisition of ViroPharma will immediately benefit Shire and is entirely consistent with our clear strategic objective of strengthening our rare disease portfolio," said Shire chief executive Flemming Ornskov.

"It brings us a new growth-driving product which augments our already strong growth prospects."

He added: "Shire is also excited by the prospect of being able to offer two complementary treatments, Firazyr for the treatment of acute HAE attacks and Cinryze for prophylactic treatment of patients suffering from HAE."

The firm envisages cost savings of $150m by 2015 from the deal, which it says will create a unit with revenues of $2bn a year.

Drugs that treat rare diseases are being increasingly targeted by firms that are losing patent protection on their more conventional drug lines.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories



  • Polish and British flags alongside British roadsideWar debt

    Does the UK still feel a sense of obligation towards Poles?

  • Alana Saarinen at pianoMum, Dad and Mum

    The girl who has three biological parents

  • Two young Red deer stags practice their rutting in the long grass in Richmond Park, London - 1 September 2014Day in pictures

    The best news photos from around the world in the past 24 hours

  • Islamic State fighters parade in Raqqa, Syria (30 June 2014)Who backs IS?

    Where Islamic State finds support to become a formidable force

From BBC Capital


  • Art installationClick Watch

    How one artist is using computer code to turn internet radio into a unique piece of music

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.