NYON, Switzerland, October 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPG), today announced a long-term, broad based, multi-indication research collaboration in rare diseases with Fondazione Telethon, a major Italian biomedical charitable foundation, for research carried out at the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM). This alliance will facilitate research on 13 undisclosed rare disease indications and has the potential to add multiple, novel therapeutic candidates into Shire's early stage pipeline. The partnership underscores Shire's long-term commitment to bring innovative therapies to patients with rare diseases worldwide.
The collaboration brings together Shire's established capabilities in developing and distributing effective, life-altering therapies for patients with rare diseases and TIGEM's world renowned research expertise in gene therapy and other novel therapeutics. Under the terms of the agreement, Shire will provide $22 million (€17 million) funding over five years for several research projects that collectively address a number of different lysosomal storage disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. The majority of the research will be conducted in TIGEM's facility in Naples, Italy under the direction of Andrea Ballabio. Successful projects that arise from this research will be incorporated into Shire's development pipeline and benefit from additional Shire investment and resources.
"As a leader in rare diseases, Shire's partnership with Fondazione Telethon is another way for us to ensure that we expand into new disease areas and enhance our collaborative relationships with academic institutions," said Philip J. Vickers, Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Shire HGT. "Shire's developmental expertise combined with TIGEM's early stage research capabilities will enable us to accelerate our discovery and development efforts. This research collaboration is evidence of Shire's commitment to patients with rare diseases and our intent to work with the best institutions to achieve this.""The collaboration with Shire proves yet again the value of Telethon-funded research which is able to attract interest in the pharmaceutical market, even in a critical phase like the current one. We are particularly pleased because alliances like this one represent, for a not for profit organization like ours, an actual opportunity to fulfill the promise made to patients and donors who have been supporting us; translating the excellent results of scientific research into therapies that are accessible to people suffering from genetic diseases still lacking a cure. Those are the people for whom Telethon was born and still exists and keeps working," said Francesca Pasinelli, General Manager of Fondazione Telethon. Notes to editors