British firm wraps up purchase of Pharmavene

Maryland Watch

March 27, 1997

Shire Pharmaceuticals Group PLC, a British pharmaceutical firm, said yesterday that it has completed the purchase of Pharmavene Inc., a Rockville-based biotechnology company.

Under the agreement, announced last month, Shire initially will pay $25 million in cash and about $65 million in Shire stock for privately held Pharmavene.

The purchase price could reach $160 million if certain contingencies are met, including final Food and Drug Administration approval for Carbatrol, an epilepsy drug developed by Pharmavene.

The deal represents one of the largest amounts ever paid for a Maryland biotechnology company.

The most ever paid for a Maryland biotechnology company is believed to be the $295 million spent in 1995 by the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Sandoz for Genetic Therapy Inc. of Gaithersburg.

Rolf Stahel, Shire's chief executive officer, said the Pharmavene acquisition would add 11 drug development projects to Shire's pipeline and "significant short-term to medium-term revenue streams to the group."

Pub Date: 3/27/97

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