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Shire buys ViroPharma in $4.2 billion deal

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November 11, 2013 05:30 AM EST | AP

LONDON (AP) — Drug maker Shire says it is buying the rare disease biopharmaceutical company ViroPharma in a deal worth $4.2 billion.

Shire PLC will pay $50 a share, a 27 percent premium on last week's closing price. ViroPharma makes CINRYZE, which treats hereditary angioedema, a disease characterized by recurrent attacks of swelling of the skin or mucous membranes. It can be painful, disfiguring and potentially life-threatening.

Shire says it believes that of the approximately 8,000 patients in the United States with the disease, it is actively managed in only about 3,500 patients.

Dr. Flemming Ornskov, Dublin-based Shire's CEO, said Monday that the acquisition of ViroPharma is consistent with the objective of strengthening the company's rare disease portfolio and brings a growth driving product to the company.

Viropharma is based in Exton, Pennsylvania.