Shire changes NASDAQ ticker symbol to SHPG starting Wednesday

With the opening of trading on Wednesday, Shire plc's American Depository Shares will change ticker symbols on the NASDAQ market, from SHPGY to SHPG.

The loss of the "Y" on the NASDAQ will have no effect on trading on the London Stock Exchange, where Shire's regular share are bought and sold using the symbol SHP.

Meanwhile, Shire shares had a bit of turmoil in recent days as traders reacted to the FDA approval of a competitor's generic application for Shire's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug Adderall XR.

Shire, which has a facility in Wayne, Pa., says each ADS continues to represent three ordinary shares of Shire plc.

On June 25, the Actavis Group, a generic pharmaceuticals company, in Morristown, N.J., said it got approval to market its generic version. Watson Pharmaceuticals said in April that it will buy Actavis for about $5.6 billion. Watson's headquarters is in Parsippany, N.J.

Previously, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Impax Laboratories had marketed generic versions of Adderall XR but they were working in conjunction with Shire. Such arrangements don't lower the price of a drug as much as independent generic drugs do.

The Wall Street Journal reported that some stock analysts were not particularly bothered since Shire's reliance on Adderall XR has waned a bit because of increased sales of a newer ADHD drug, Vyvanse. A link to the Journal story is here.