Shire takes axe to biosimilars post-Baxalta merger

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock/PaulMaguire
Image: iStock/PaulMaguire

Related tags: Etanercept, Shire

Shire has reinforced its focus on rare diseases by exiting Baxalta's Humira and Enbrel biosimilar programmes with Momenta and Coherus.

In June​, Shire completed the $32bn acquisition of Baxalta in a deal focused on expanding its presence in the rare diseases space.

As such, the firm has begun turning its back on other areas its acquisition had been working in, and this week said it is abandoning the biosimilars sector, ending two agreements previously inked by Baxalta.

“Shire has decided to end its biosimilars programs, which were inherited when Shire combined with Baxalta earlier this year,”​ Shire spokeswoman Katie Joyce told this publication. “This includes the partnerships with Coherus BioSciences and Momenta Pharmaceuticals.”

Joyce continued: Shire is now the leading global biotechnology company focused on serving people with rare diseases. With this strategic decision, the company will be able to further align its focus and resources on these core strategic areas.”

Momenta was developing M923 with Baxalta, a version of AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab), while the Coherus deal was focused on taking on Amgen’s Enbrel (etanercept) with the candidate CHS-0214.

“We will work with Coherus BioSciences and Momenta to ensure a seamless transition of the programs back to their respective companies.”

She added there will be limited near term savings from winding down these programs, but “longer term, Shire will avoid costs for building out the commercial team to support launches for these programs.”

Momenta said yesterday there is a twelve month termination period which Shire will continue to be obligated to fund. Coherus, meanwhile, said it was still on track for submitting a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to the EMA by the end of the year, as it regained all development and commercial rights to CHS-0214.

Last week​, Shire abandoned a partnership with CTI Biopharma for the development of the oral kinase inhibitor pacritinib, again inked by Baxalta, as part of a strategic realignment.

And Shire last month​ announced it was halting development on Baxalta’s own factor XI gene therapy candidate Bax 335, which had been in Phase I/II trials for haemophilia B.

Related topics: Biosimilars, Bio Developments

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