Shire PLC  (SHP)  surged in London on Thursday, Aug. 3, after it posted a solid earnings beat for the second quarter and said it is ahead of schedule to meet its target for synergies following the acquisition of Baxalta. 

The drugmaker reported total sales of $3.7 billion, which rose about 7% from the same period a year earlier and were in line with analysts' forecasts. Net income, on the other hand, came in at $1.13 billion marking a meaningful beat against analysts' forecasts that called for a bottom line of $1.07 billion. 

Synergies achieved from the integration of biotechnology firm Baxalta reached a run-rate of $400 million during the quarter. This was ahead of the company's internal target of $300 million and places it ahead of schedule to achieve the $700 million of annual savings it promised to deliver to investors by the end of its third year of ownership. 

In addition, the company also said it has launched a strategic review of its neurosciences franchise which could result in an initial public offering. The unit houses its blockbuster Adderall and Vyvanse drugs and had collective sales of $2.6 billion in 2016. 

Shire rose 3% in London trading on Thursday, outpacing the gains seen elsewhere across the drugs sector.

"We are at an exciting inflection point, with both our rare disease and neuroscience businesses performing strongly and each having significant growth potential over the coming years. The strength and scale of our business provides us with the opportunity to further optimize our franchise portfolio - one of our key priorities communicated earlier this year," said CEO Flemming Ornskov. 

Greater synergies from Shire's $32 billion Baxalta acquisition in 2015 were not the only M&A boost the drugmaker saw in the period as it also heralded the success of angiodema drug Lanadelumab in phase III clinical trials.

Ornskov said Thursday that Shire should file for approval of Lanadelumab in late 2017 or early 2018. The drug was picked up during the $5.9 billion acquisition of Dyax Corp., which was completed in January 2016. 

Shire's approach to M&A came in for criticism over its deal to buy Baxalta, with some expressing concerns over the price it paid following a lengthy pursuit of the target, but Thursday's earnings report adds credence to recent analyst claims that the company could now be about to put these concerns behind it. 

More of What's Trending on TheStreet:

Watch More with TheStreet: