Further cementing its push into regenerative medicine, Shire announced Monday that it was rebranding its Advanced Biohealing unit Shire Regenerative Medicine. Shire acquired the company a year ago for $750 million.
Advanced BioHealing's sole on-market product at the time was Dermagraft, a bio-engineered skin substitute that's used to heal diabetic foot ulcers. The division has since gone on to acquire assets from Pervasis for an experimental blood vessel therapy called Vascugel that uses endothelial cells to repair damage in patients with end-stage renal disease.
Shire spokesperson Lindsey Hart told MM&M that Advanced BioHealing's one-year anniversary was a good time to expand the Shire umbrella because it further aligned the unit with the core company and “really put that stake in the ground, showing Shire's commitment,” to regenerative medicine. She said it will provide a strong external messaging platform for future acquisitions in the regenerative space.
Regenerative medicine is the third leg of Shire's $4 billion portfolio, which largely rests on specialty pharmaceuticals including the ADHD medications Vyvanse, Intuniv and Adderall, the ulcerative colitis medications Pentasa and Lialda and renal disease medication Fosrenal, among others, and its human genetic therapies portfolio which includes the Fabry disease treatment Replagal and Hunter syndrome treatment Elaprase.
“This is really just setting the stage for developing this business as a significant business for Shire,” Hart said. Dermagraft, which came over with the May 2011 purchase of Advance Biohealing, contributed $105 million in sales last year.
Hart said the company couldn't put a number on how many regenerative medicine acquisitions it's considering over the next few years, but said Phase II and III technologies are what grab its attention in this limited field.
Hart qualified that limited applies to number of current regenerative technologies, not potential. “It's been kind of a hypothetical industry, quite frankly, and really there hasn't been a lot of success stories, she said, noting that the Vascugel acquisition and renaming are signals of note, saying “it's a strong indication that the market is growing and that technology in the space are going to continue to be developed . . . we're an industry that's about to jump off the ground.”