Is Shire set to overtake Novartis as top orphan drug developer?

In Clinical Development, Market Access, Partnering & Investment by André Singer

Well, at least their acquisition and portfolio strategy aligned with the market perception are showing that they are in the right track to reach the top. Shire’s stocks (SHPG) had ramped up twice in the past month due to the huge acquisition of the orphan drug biotech ViroPharma (VPHM), for a mere $4.2 billion, and to the Irish company’s exciting Q3’s EPS growth of 30%, way beyond the industry’s average 20% rate.

The acquisition of ViroPharma strengthen and complements the Irish biotech’s portfolio with the hereditary angioedema (HAE) orphan drug Cinryze, even though the drug’s market exclusivity ending in 2015.

Shire has made the year’s best gains since breaking out of a base in July. It’s up more than 30% from that entry, and this is really reflecting the strategy they committed to, which is to grow and bolster they rare disease business. Flemming Ornskov, Shire’s Chief Executive Officer, has clearly stated the company’s strategy to orphan drug development earlier this year at the World Orphan Drug Congress USA 2014. He told conference participants that the company’s priorities are delivering continued progress to the rare disease community, relying on a new generation of orphan drugs and establishing stronger collaborations among patients, payers, policymakers and industry to deliver advances that are achievable now.

In the meantime, Switzerland-based Novartis’s (NVS) stocks have been steadier, even though the company is expected to maintain their leadership in the rare disease space with 6 among the top 30 selling orphan drugs, until 2018.

In this link you’ll find more information about the stock market for these companies above.