Shire will buy San Francisco biotech firm

Shire P.L.C., the Dublin biopharmaceutical company that has its U.S. headquarters in Wayne, Pa., will acquire FerroKin Biosciences Inc. in a transaction worth up to $325 million.

Shire will pay $100 million in cash when it seals the deal and could make payments of up to $225 million more should San Francisco-based FerroKin meet certain milestones for its product to treat patients who experience iron overload from chronic blood transfusions.

News of the acquisition comes one day after Shire announced that it had withdrawn its application seeking approval for Replagel, a treatment for Fabry disease, by the Food and Drug Administration. The company said it believed that U.S. regulators would require additional clinical trials for the biologic, which has been approved in the European Union for more than a decade.

As we await the latest reading on the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's monthly survey of manufacturers at 10 a.m., consider the continued improvement in employment numbers. The Department of Labor said initial claims for unemployment insurance declined by 14,000 last week to 351,000. The four-week moving average remained unchanged at 355,750.

Finally, former Cephalon CEO Kevin Buchi has been added to the board of directors of a New York biotech firm, Stemline Therapeutics. Buchi has been corporate vice president of global brand products for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., which acquired Cephalon last October.