Shire has enhanced its regenerative medicine portfolio by purchasing Vascugel and other assets from Pervasis Therapeutics.
Vascugel, which has orphan drug designation in the EU, is a cell-based therapy to help patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) receive haemodialysis.
Shire will make an upfront payment to Pervasis, followed by potential milestone payments as clinical development, regulatory and sales targets are achieved.
Currently in phase II clinical trials for enhancing blood vessel repair and haemodialysis access in patients with ESRD, Vascugel is scheduled to enter phase III trials later this year.
The drug is applied locally (in gel form) to regulate the healing response after surgery to create arteriovenous (AV) access for hemodialysis.
ESRD currently affects around 250,000 patients in the EU.
According to Shire, Vascugel will fit well with the Irish company’s regenerative medicine portfolio – in particular, its Dermagraft product for diabetic foot ulcers.
Kevin Rakin, Shire’s Head of Regenerative Medicine, commented: “There are currently no approved therapies that directly target the underlying physiological processes associated with the creation of AV access sites in haemodialysis patients, including inflammation, thrombosis, and restenosis.
“We believe Vascugel has the potential to enhance the rate of blood vessel repair while also providing for increased maintenance of the access site for a prolonged period of time as compared to current treatments.”
In addition, Shire has acquired an endothelial cell technology platform from Pervasis that may generate further regenerative medicine products.