Approval of parathyroid hormone drug further validates acquisition decision

UK speciality pharmaceutical firm Shire has agreed to buy US biotech NPS Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion (£3.5 billion). The move supports Shire’s strategy of focusing on treatments for rare diseases, and has been further validated with US approval for NPS’s parathyroid hormone treatment.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Natpara (parathyroid hormone) for treating low blood calcium in hypoparathyroidism patients whose calcium levels cannot be adequately controlled using calcium and vitamin D supplements.

The deal also gives Shire access to NPS’s other approved drug, Revestive (Gattex in the US; teduglutide) for treating the rare gastrointestinal condition short bowel syndrome. The drug improves nutrient absorption in patients who have had sections of their intestines surgically removed. Shire intends to make use of its larger scale to drive sales of both drugs and accelerate NPS’s development pipeline.