Here's a good piece on Shire's strategy to focus on rare and orphan diseases. It recounts the company's success and also points out perceived opportunities in the future. For example, Shire has expressed an interest in seeking out properties in gene therapy and stem cell areas for possible future investment. It is also seeking additional treatment applicatins for its existing drugs.
Shire's CEO Angus Russell seem well aware that other bigger players are beginning to eye the rare disease area too but feels confident in Shire's ability to add value. Shire is projecting "mid-teens growth" through 2015. Why not? With successful drugs like Elaprase for Hunter Syndrome, Vpriv for Gaucher's Disease and Replagel for Fabry's Disease. The latter two have received a big sales boost due to Genzyme's manufacturing issues with its two drugs. These drugs now represent 30% of Shire's porfolio sales -- up from 4% in 2005.
As Russell notes, the world is more holistic now, and factoring in payers, more informed patients, and policy makers looking to reduce costs, "We're seeing the shrinking of that mass marketing [drug] model."
Posted by Bruce Lehr May 12th 2011.