Shire up for sale

Staff Written News

A leading global pharmaceutical company, Shire, is on the cusp of an historic acquisition by a Japan-based company, Takeda Pharmaceutical, for an unprecedented $62 billion dollars. Shire, an Ireland-based company with branches in more than 100 countries, bought out Baxalta International in early 2016 for $32 billion, taking over the $1.2 billion biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant with an adjacent $14 million Georgia BioScience training center located in Stanton Springs Technology Park, an industrial site governed by the four-county Joint Development Authority (JDA). Should Shire shareholders approve the sale, control of the operations at Stanton Springs out in Newton County will change hands yet again—as early as the first half of next year.

However, the JDA, comprised of Walton, Newton, Morgan and Jasper counties, is confident that the historic buyout will not jeopardize the blossoming biopharmaceutical industry operating out of Stanton Springs.

“Just like when Shire bought Baxter, I don’t foresee any changes at this time,” said Shane Short, executive director of the Development Authority of Walton County.  “The sale in no way affects the current deal we initially entered into with Baxter.”

The pending sale comes on the heels of Shire’s ongoing approval process with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for commercial production of its new plasma products out of Stanton Springs.  According to Gabe Khouli, communication lead for the Shire Plant in Stanton Springs, the sale of Shire to Takeda should not adversely affect the FDA approval process.

“FDA approval is needed to sell any product manufactured at our site, which is our ultimate goal – to provide therapies for our patients,” said Gabe Khouli, communication lead for the Shire Plant in Stanton Springs, in an April press release. “At Shire, our mission is to be champions for people around the world who are struggling with rare diseases.”

“Receiving approval for our immunoglobulin therapy would mark the culmination of six years of work since the project was first announced in 2012,” he said. “We will file a separate submission to the FDA later this year for our albumin therapy.”

Takeda’s CEO has also publicly committed the company to continuing Shire’s vision and medical treatment endeavors.

“Shire’s highly complementary product portfolio and pipeline, as well as experienced employees, will accelerate our transformation for a stronger Takeda,” said Takeda CEO Christophe Weber to Fortune Magazine. “Together, we will be a leader in providing targeted treatments in gastroenterology, neuroscience, oncology, rare diseases and plasma-derived therapies.”

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