Shire buys rights to Pfizer gastrointestinal drug

Shire has added to its portfolio of gastrointestinal medicines and bought the licence to a Pfizer antibody, under development for inflammatory bowel disease.

Only recently merged with Baxalta, Shire has bought rights to all indications for PF-00547659, which is being trialled in moderate-to-severe inflammatory bowel disease.

Shire said PF-00547659 has been evaluated in more than 700 patients in phase 1 and phase 2 trials and phase 3 trials are planned following consultation with regulators.

Inflammatory bowel disease includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PF-00547659 is a fully-human monoclonal antibody designed to directly target a gastrointestinal endothelial adhesion molecule known as mucosal addressing cell adhesion molecule 1 (MAdCAM-1), that binds to the α4β7 integrin on lymphocytes (white blood cells).

Aside from its rare diseases business, Shire also focuses on certain specialist areas, including gastrointestinal diseases.

In a separate announcement Shire said that its Glassia (alpha-1 proteinase inhibitor (human)), developed in partnership with Israel’s Kamada, has received an expanded label in the US allowing for self-infusion in a rare kind of emphysema.

Originally approved in 2010, Glassia is approved for emphysema due to severe Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency.

The new label allows patients to administer the drug themselves, after training. Amir London, Kamada’s chief executive, said the new approval could reduce costs associated with infusion services in hospital, and be more convenient for patients.

It could also help boost sales and London said the company had a production facility capable of supporting increased demand.

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