Ireland-based pharmaceutical company Shire has announced the $325m acquisition of US-based BioSciences company FerroKin.

The agreement has paved the way for Shire to gain access to FerroKin’s FBS0701, an investigational drug used for the treatment of iron overload associated with chronic blood transfusions.

Both the US Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency have granted FBS0701 orphan drug status, and Phase II studies into the drug’s efficacy are currently ongoing. Initial data presented at the American Society of Hematology has, however, supported the drug’s potential as an iron chelator with a favourable safety profile.

Shire Specialty Pharmaceuticals senior vice president Ross Murdoch said that the acquisition marks an important step in Shire’s aim of servicing the needs of specialty hematologists.

"There remains a significant unmet need for a once-a-day, oral iron chelator with a better safety profile than currently available treatments. We believe FBS0701 has the potential to meet that need," Murdoch added.

As per the terms of the agreement, Shire will pay an initial fee of $100m in cash, followed by milestone payments of up to $225m dependant on clinical development, regulatory and sales targets.