Shire Pays Over $260M Upfront in IPO Detour for San Diego’s Lumena

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rare diseases, or to Philadelphia, which has a Shire business unit focused on gastrointestinal drugs.

Lumena’s lead drug compound is in mid-stage development for four cholestatic liver diseases, two pediatric and two adult. Regulators in the U.S. and Europe have granted orphan drug status to LUM001 for treating Alagille Syndrome and several related cholestatic liver diseases. A second compound, LUM002, is ready to begin mid-stage trials for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitius.

In a statement today, Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov says, “These attractive potential treatments may offer new hope to patients with rare cholestatic liver disease and further contribute to Shire’s future growth. We are excited by the possibilities of these new assets in liver disease. We have the resources, the infrastructure and the operating capacity to invest in these new potential growth drivers which add further value to Shire’s innovative pipeline.”

Shire says the Lumena deal adds a new drug pipeline for its gastrointestinal business, which generated revenues of over $800 million in 2013. Shire said the deal also would be a good fit with its Fibrotech acquisition, which addresses unmet patient need in fibrotic conditions including renal impairment.

Lumena’s specialized focus in a particular group of orphan diseases, combined with a lead drug compound that already had undergone extensive testing by Pfizer, attracted buyout interest from a number of big pharma suitors, as well as strong venture support, Grey said. Before filing for an IPO in April, Lumena raised $45 million in a Series B round led by New Enterprise Associates. Adage Capital Management and RA Capital Management also participated, joining existing investors Pappas Ventures, RiverVest Venture Partners, and Alta Partners.

While the company was getting buyout feelers before filing for an IPO, the filing intensified the interest, and Grey said Lumena had multiple opportunities. Shire agreed to acquire Lumena for an upfront payment of $260 million in cash, plus a payment for net cash at closing, and near-term contingent milestone payments related to ongoing clinical trials.

Shire said it does not expect the acquisition of Lumena to result in a change to its previously stated earnings guidance for 2014.

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