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Shire acquires Premacure

Shire has acquired biotech company Premacure, developer of a drug to treat a rare eye disorder among premature infants.

Premacure has developed a protein replacement therapy, currently in phase II development, for the prevention of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). ROP is a rare and potentially blinding eye disorder that primarily affects premature infants. It is one of the most common causes of visual loss in childhood.

Shire will purchase Premacure for an upfront payment and certain contingent payments based on the achievement of pre-specified development and commercial milestones. According to Shire, the acquisition expands the company’s commitment to bringing innovative therapies to patients with rare disorders worldwide and will allow them to enter the neonatology area. Shire will continue the phase II study, the primary goal of which is to restore the IGF-1 levels in the preterm infant to those found during normal in utero development.

“The acquisition of Premacure by Shire further underscores the potential to change the long-term outlook for preterm infants with ROP and their families,” said Jan Borg, founding CEO of Premacure. “We are excited that this program will become part of the innovative pipeline at Shire and believe that their experience and resources may accelerate the development of a product that seeks to prevent some of the devastating long-term consequences of ROP.”

Premacure was founded in 2001 by CEO Jan Borg and is based in Uppsala.