20. Shire $5B ▲up 18.6%

Global revenue: $6B (24th), up 22%
Top brands:  Vyvanse ($2.1B)
Promotional spend: $139.7M (29th); 2.8% of rev.
R&D spend: $566M (20th); down 39.3%; 9.4% of rev.
Planned launches: SHP555 (constipation); Lifitegrast (dry eyes); SHP 465 (ADHD)
Patent expirations: Intuniv (2015); Firazyr (2015); Carbatrol (2016); Fosrenol (2018)

After Shire fended off an AbbVie takeover, analysts said it would ultimately strengthen the company—and, perhaps, free the drugmaker to make acquisitions of its own. Those predictions proved accurate: In January Shire bolstered its presence in rare diseases by acquiring NPS Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion. As part of the deal, it gained access to Natpara, a treatment associated with hypoparathyroidism. Jefferies analyst David Steinberg noted that he expects the drug to bring in $35 million in second-quarter sales and $243 million in the third quarter. Shire was also able to hold off five drugmakers looking to market generic versions of its most lucrative product, Vyvanse. A US District Court Judge in New Jersey blocked Mylan, Actavis, Amneal, Roxane and Sandoz from filing abbreviated new drug applications for the blockbuster ADHD medication, eliminating generic competition until 2023. Vyvanse also scored a label expansion into severe binge-eating disorder in February.

Click here to return to main story.