Pharma Giant Shire Buys Biotech Firm Dyax Getty Images

Pharma Giant Shire Buys Biotech Firm Dyax

Dyax, a US company specializing in treatment for rare diseases, has developed a promising test drug treatment for a genetic inflammatory condition called HAE.

LONDON—Dublin-based pharmaceutical group Shire said Monday it had agreed to buy Dyax, a U.S. company specializing in rare diseases, for $5.9 billion (5.34 billion euros).

"This highly complementary transaction aligns with and accelerates our strategy to build a global leading biotechnology company focused on rare diseases and speciality conditions," Shire's chief executive Flemming Ornskov said in a statement outlining the deal that could rise by a further $650 million.

Dyax's chief executive, Gustav Christensen, said the "transaction will deliver substantial value" to his company's shareholders amid a sustained period of sector consolidation.

He added that the deal highlights Dyax's "shared commitment to bringing innovative medicines to patients who suffer from the devastating effects of HAE" -- described in the statement as a "rare, debilitating genetic inflammatory condition."

London-listed Shire, which is betting on success for Dyax's DX-2930 test drug treatment for HAE, added that it had not given up on trying to buy U.S. biotech firm Baxalta in a much bigger deal.

"Even with this (Dyax) transaction, we will continue to have the financial firepower to pursue other value-added strategic acquisitions, including Baxalta," Ornskov said in Monday's statement.

Shire had a $30-billion offer for Baxalta turned down by the U.S. group in August.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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