Shire plc (SHPG) to Update on R&D Pipeline at Investor Day; Enters Collaboration with CFFT
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Shire plc (Nasdaq: SHPG) is hosting a Research and Development (R&D) Day for the investment community focused on the Company's pipeline of innovative medicines being developed to treat rare diseases and other specialty conditions. Shire also announced a collaboration with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics Inc. (CFFT), the non-profit drug discovery and development affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, to support the Company's Messenger RNA Technology platform for cystic fibrosis (CF), and Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for SHP607, a protein replacement therapy being developed for the prevention of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP).
"Shire's clear and focused strategy has enabled us to transform our pipeline with 22 programs in the clinic, the most in Shire's history," said Flemming Ornskov, M.D., MPH, Chief Executive Officer.
"Our clinical and scientific capabilities in discovering new therapies for rare diseases are focused on new indications and therapeutic areas," said Philip J. Vickers, Ph.D., Global Head of Research & Development. "We have a number of significant clinical milestones anticipated over the next 18 months, and aim to accelerate delivery of therapies to patients from a highly productive internal pipeline, complemented by the acquisition of external assets and innovative collaborations."
CFFT Investment/Messenger RNA Technology Platform
Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a natural material produced by living organisms to convey coded genetic information from a gene (DNA) to the ribosome, which translates the coded genetic information into protein. In many diseases, the underlying cause is the lack of sufficient levels of functional protein.
Shire is investigating therapies in its preclinical pipeline which would deliver mRNA to sites in the body where it can be used by the body's own cellular mechanisms to produce normal working copies of the protein.
CFFT has committed to up to $15 million to support Shire's mRNA technology platform for CF. In CF, mutations in the CFTR gene (Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator) lead to a disruption of the normal regulation of fluids in the lung that cause the secretions to thicken, thereby restricting lung function and leading to recurrent lung infections.
Shire's goal is to deliver mRNA that codes for a fully functional (wild type) version of the CFTR protein to the lungs of CF patients. If high enough levels of functional CFTR protein can be produced, lung function may be improved, thereby reducing the frequency and severity of infections.
Shire is also investigating other diseases that are caused by a lack of sufficient levels of a functional protein and where the Company may be able to leverage its mRNA Technology platform. Shire will highlight its mRNA platform at today's R&D Day.
Fast Track Designation for SHP607
Shire has received Fast Track designation from the FDA for SHP607, a protein replacement therapy for the prevention of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), which is a potentially blinding proliferative retinopathy unique to prematurely born infants.
Fast Track designation is an FDA-approved process that facilitates the development and expedites the review of drugs to treat serious diseases that fill an unmet medical need with the goal of delivering important new treatments to patients earlier.
SHP607 is currently in a Phase 2 study that aims to compare the severity of ROP among treated patients versus an untreated control population matched for gestational age. Topline data from this study are expected in the second half of 2015.
Recent R&D Highlights
Shire expects to file an NDA for Lifitegrast for the treatment of signs and symptoms of Dry Eye Disease in Q1 2015. The Company is also conducting a Phase 3 safety and efficacy study (OPUS-3) in support of a potential label in the U.S. and international markets. The study will run concurrent to the U.S. NDA review.
Shire has completed enrollment of a Phase 2 registration study in pediatric patients with Alagille Syndrome (ALGS). ALGS is a rare genetic disorder that affects the liver, heart, kidney, and other systems of the body. The Company expects to report top-line results in the first half of 2015. There are also four other Phase 2/3 pediatric studies ongoing in ALGS.
Shire is also conducting a Phase 2 pediatric study in patients with Progressive Familial Intrahepatic Cholestasis (PFIC). PFIC is a rare inherited condition in which children are unable to drain bile from the liver.
Shire has also completed enrollment of a Phase 2 study in adult patients with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, a rare disease that causes progressive destruction to the small bile ducts of the liver that can lead to scarring, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. The Company expects to report top-line results in the first half of 2015.
An IND for SHP626 in patients with Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) has been submitted in November and following FDA permission to proceed we plan to initiate a Phase 1b multiple-dose study in Q1 2015. NASH is a condition characterized by fat deposits in the liver, leading to inflammation and, in a subset of patients, significant fibrosis.
Vyvanse for BED
The FDA has granted priority review for Shire's sNDA of Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (active ingredient in VYVANSE) in Binge Eating Disorder (BED). BED is characterized by recurring episodes of eating large amounts of food in a discrete period of time, consistent loss of control while binging and remorse in the aftermath of a binge. Those with BED binge on food at least once a week over a period of three months or more. The PDUFA date is February 1, 2015.
Further details of these, and the remainder of Shire's portfolio, will be discussed at today's R&D Day.
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