In what could be its penultimate set of financials before being merged into AbbVie, Shire has posted a strong set of second-quarter figures.

Operating income jumped 32% to $630 million, while revenues rose 20% to $1.50 billion. Turnover was again driven by the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder drug Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate), which climbed 20% to $359.5 million. Its off-patent predecessor Adderall XR (mixed amphetamine salts) fell 11% to $99.8 million, while another ADHD drug, Intuniv (guanfacine), had sales of $100.0 million (+11%).

As for Shire's rare diseases portfolio, Replagal (agalsidase alfa) for Fabry disease climbed 14% to $130.5 million, Vpriv (velaglucerase alfa) for Gaucher's disease rose 9% to $89.7 million, while the Hunter Syndrome therapy Elaprase (idursulfase) inched up 2% to $152.1 million. Pentasa (mesalamine) was down 14% to $63.2 million but the firm’s newer ulcerative colitis drug Lialda/Mezavant increased 4% to $143.6 million.

Shire also benefited from the hereditary angioedema drug Cinryze (C1 inhibitor [human]), acquired through its recent purchase of ViroPharma. It contributed $129.9 million, up 37%, while Shire's other HAE drug Firazyr (icatibant) leapt 80% to $89.0 million.

Golden hello for Shire CEO and staff

Chief executive Flemming Ornskov said “we have again delivered record quarterly results” and these, plus increased full-year earnings per share guidance (to low-to-mid 30% from mid-to-high 20% growth) “highlight the benefits of our strategic focus on high-growth areas”. He added that “this performance is a testament to the value AbbVie sees in our company”.

As for Mr Ornskov, he will be staying with AbbVie, and will receive a $9.9 million ‘golden hello’. He will lead the integration and oversee a new rare-disease business unit within the combined company. Thirty other senior Shire employees (not including Mr Ornskov) will be entitled to a cash payment equivalent to 100-200% of annual salary and bonus to stay on; the total value of these arrangements is $22.9 million.

Shire has also negotiated a huge break fee of 3% of the value of the deal – £960 million – if AbbVie walks away, or at least $500 million in compensation for costs, losses and expenses if the US firm’s shareholders vote against the deal.