Shire is pushing its regenerative medicine business after acquiring the assets of biotech firm Pervasis Therapeutics.

The deal includes an upfront payment plus potential post-closing milestone payments dependent on Shire’s achievement of certain targets. While the financial terms of the deal were undisclosed, FierceBiotech reported that the acquisition could be worth up to $200 million after an interview with a company spokeswoman.

Through the acquisition, which complements Shire’s 2011 purchase of Advanced BioHealing, the company will now access a new cell-based technology platform with potential global opportunity and includes the developmental endothelial cell-based therapy Vascugel for enhancing blood vessel repair in patients on haemodialysis.

This “further demonstrates Shire’s commitment to investing in and building out its portfolio of regenerative medicine therapies as the partner of choice for development stage companies”, the company statement said.

The company describes the acquisition as a “strong strategic fit” with Shire’s existing product Dermagraft, which treats diabetic foot ulcers – a condition that has a high prevalence in diabetic patients on dialysis.


“There are currently no approved therapies that directly target the underlying physiological processes associated with the creation of arteriovenous access sites in haemodialysis patients, including inflammation, thrombosis and restenosis. As a result there remains a significant unmet need for technologies that improve haemodialysis access for patients with ESRD,” said Kevin Rakin, regenerative medicine president at Shire.

“We believe Vascugel has the potential to enhance the rate of blood vessel repair while also providing for increased maintenance of the access site for a prolonged period of time as compared to current treatments. This acquisition marks a very important step for Shire in building a regenerative medicine business focussed on tissue repair and regeneration.”

Shire will initially focus on completing a Phase II programme to address maturation and maintenance of arteriovenous access for haemodialysis patients, which will instruct the future development pathway.