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ID Biomedical agrees to acquire Shire Pharmaceuticals’ vaccine business


Vancouver, BC – April 20, 2004 – Shire Pharmaceuticals says it plans to sell it vaccine to ID Biomedical. The transaction is expected to close by June 30 this year, depending on government and regulatory approvals.

ID Biomedical will acquire all of Shire’s vaccine assets for a cash payment of US$60 million and a subscription receipt for share transfer worth US $60 million.

“The number one priority of ID Biomedical was to acquire an antigen supply for our intranasal FluINsure vaccine and through this acquisition we achieve this critical goal. ID Biomedical is now positioned to become a leading flu vaccine company with the potential to capture significant market share by providing products to both the traditional intramuscular, as well as the premium priced intranasal markets,” says Anthony Holler, ID Biomedical’s chief executive officer.

Shire says its vaccine business generated sales of approximately C$36 million in 2003. The revenues largely came from sales of Fluviral, a subunit, nonliving, intramuscular flu vaccine sold by Shire to the Canadian government. Currently, Shire is the 5th largest flu vaccine manufacturer in the world. In 200l, Shire’s vaccine subsidiary entered into a contract worth up to C$300 million with the Canadian government to supply public flu vaccine over the next several years, as well as guaranteeing to supply the entire population of Canada in the event of a flu pandemic.

Vaccine assets being acquired by ID Biomedical from Shire include a 120,000sq ft influenza vaccine manufacturing and fill/finish plant in St Foy, Quebec that is currently being expanded to 200,000sq ft. When the expansion is completed, manufacturing capacity from the St Foy facility is expected to increase to over 40 – 50 million doses per year. Also included is a 68,000sq ft Vaccine Research Centre currently under construction in Laval, QC, as well as a 60,000sq ft fully integrated vaccine development and pilot manufacturing facility in Northborough, MA.