• Shire plc
    Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease

    Shire announced it will buy Foresight Biotherapeutics for $300 million, a deal that would add another promising ocular surface treatment to its ophthalmic business.

    The all-cash purchase includes Foresight’s experimental eye drop (FST-100), a combination of 0.6% povidone iodine and 0.1% dexamethasone, which has showed promise in treating both bacterial and viral conjunctivitis.

    Shire says the acquisition is a good strategic fit with its dry eye compound purchased in 2013, lifitegrast ophthalmic solution, a small-molecule integrin antagonist. The FDA is expected to decide on lifitegrast by late October.  

    “Ophthalmics is a highly-attractive growth area for Shire and this acquisition allows us to strengthen our presence in this therapeutic area,” said Flemming Ornskov, MD, CEO of Shire. “It is highly synergistic with the planned lifitegrast commercial structure. FST-100 and lifitegrast, if approved, would address two of the leading reasons people seek eye care treatment.”

    Phase 2 studies have shown FST-100 effective against viral forms of conjunctivitis; however, only preclinical studies have proven its efficacy against bacterial causes. After the purchase, Shire will begin phase 3 studies of FST-100 for bacterial conjunctivitis.

    As Shire builds a new ophthalmic business it has acquired investigational products for retinopathy of prematurity, autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa and glaucoma.