Shire falls by over 5% on reduced revenue targets

Shire falls by over 5% on reduced revenue targets

Shares in Dublin-based drugmaker Shire yesterday fell more than 5% after it reined in its medium-term revenue targets, writes Geoff Percival.

The biotech giant, which is headquartered in Ireland for tax purposes, expects total revenues to reach $17bn-$18bn by 2020; a downgrade from its previous target of $20bn by that date. The latter aim was set out when Shire acquired biopharmacutical firm Baxalta two years ago.

However, the company said it expects continued revenue growth, “driven by a diverse portfolio of leading brands,” including those in its immunology division which increased sales 21% in the first three quarters of 2017. The company said it continues to have “a promising” late-stage product pipeline, with 15 ‘programmes’ in Phase-3 trial status.

Shire has also confirmed while attending this year’s annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco that it will split its neuroscience business into two divisions; one focusing on neuroscience and the other on rare diseases.

The confirmation marks the result of the first stage of a strategic review of the neuroscience arm which began in August.

“The board believes this will be an important first step in enabling both divisions to maximise mid- to-long-term product sales, cash generation and innovation,” Shire said.

The second stage of the strategic review will include an evaluation of “all strategic alternatives,” including a possible stockmarket listing for the neuroscience business.

“Shire has undergone a significant transformation over the last five years, creating two market-leading businesses with distinct profiles and future needs,” said the chief executive Flemming Ornskov.

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