Organogenesis buys assets of a living skin substitute from Shire

Photo taken from the website of Organogenesis.
Photo taken from the website of Organogenesis.

Shire PLC, an Irish drug company that had 1,400 employees at its Lexington research campus as of June, said Friday that it has sold the assets of a living skin substitute called Dermagraft to Organogenesis Inc., a Canton-based company specializing in regenerative medicine.

Dermagraft is used to treat full-thickness diabetic foot ulcers and is approved for use in the US and Canada.

In a press release, Shire said it has been prioritizing investments that are of the greatest strategic, clinical, and commercial value to the company and that Dermagraft no longer meets those criteria.

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In the release, Shire said it will receive no upfront payment from Organogenesis but is entitled to receive up to $300 million cash in total milestone payments should Organogenesis meet certain annual net sales targets between now and 2018. Shire will record a loss on disposal and associated impairment charges of about $650 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, which will be excluded from Non GAAP earnings.

A press release from Organogenesis included a statement from president and chief executive Geoff MacKay.

“Organogenesis is a pioneering company in the regenerative medicine and wound healing fields, and we are now the proud owners of two products containing living cells that are FDA-approved for wound healing,” he said. “In the midst of a CMS coverage decision which limits access to FDA-proven technology, this deal was necessary to keep both assets on the market and available for patient treatment.”