Shire buying Dyax for $5.9bn, but says Baxalta still a target

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Shire buying Dyax for $5.9bn, but says Baxalta still a target

Related tags Merck serono Monoclonal antibodies Shire

Shire’s acquisition of Dyax will add a Phase III mAb and an antibody generation technology, but the firm says it still has its eyes on Baxalta.

Today’s announcement will see Shire pay approximately $5.9bn (€5.4bn) for Dyax Corporation, adding the Burlington, Massachusetts-based biopharma’s Phase III-ready candidate DX-2930 - a long-acting monoclonal antibody inhibitor of pKal - for the prevention of hereditary angioedema (HAE) attacks.

Furthermore, “the transaction adds Dyax’s well-established proprietary phage display antibody generation technology to Shire’s rare diseases discovery capabilities,”​ a Shire spokesperson told

“The phage display discovery platform is a patented antibody generation technology used to improve the speed and cost-effectiveness of internal and partner drug discovery, and is the platform that produced DX-2930.”

The platform has also been instrumental in Dyax’s licensee pipeline - which includes the development of Eli Lilly’s Cyramza (ramucirumab) and Merck Serono’s Avelumab (PD-L1) – and Shire will receive partnering revenue associated with these.

The deal has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both Shire and Dyax, and shareholder approval is not required to close the deal, expected in the first half of 2016. The firm does “not anticipate any impact from this acquisition on Shire’s manufacturing network.”

Baxalta still in sight

Shire bid $30.6bn for fellow biopharma firm Baxalta back in August​, and the firm said it intends to continue to pursue the deal despite today’s $5.9bn commitment.

“Shire is confident that its M&A expertise and the ongoing strength of its business will enable rapid and effective integration following the closing,”​ the firm told us.

“Even with this transaction, Shire will continue to have the financial firepower to pursue other value-added strategic acquisitions, including Baxalta.”

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