Shire and Boston Children’s Hospital Enter into Broad Research Collaboration


On November 20, 2012, Boston Children’s and Shire announced the launch of a three-year research collaboration in rare diseases. The collaboration will leverage Boston Children’s research and clinical expertise, and Shire’s therapeutic development and commercialization capabilities to advance novel treatments for a number of rare pediatric diseases with high unmet medical need.

In support of Technology & Innovation Development Office’s (TIDO) mission of translating Boston Children’s (BCH) laboratory research and clinical care into lifesaving biomedical products for the public benefit, TIDO has been actively seeking technology (product, clinical) development partnerships with industry. With this in mind, TIDO has held annual Orphan Disease Symposiums since 2011 with the goal of starting conversations between BCH principal investigators and industry counterparts who are striving to help patients with rare diseases find a treatment. The hope is that these relationships will blossom into collaborations that move BCH’s research into the clinic.

These first two symposiums led to three deals. The first two collaborations involved Pfizer. BCH joined Pfizer’s CTI Boston, and a executed a research agreement for muscular dystrophy therapeutics with Pfizer. The third and latest agreement comes as a three-year RFP based collaboration program with Shire.

Under the terms of the agreement, Shire will have the opportunity to fund and collaborate on selected Boston Children’s research programs. The emphasis will be on opportunities that have the potential to deliver a development candidate in less than three years from project initiation. Following the completion of these programs, Shire will have an exclusive option to enter into a licensing agreement for each program.

Upon entering into any subsequent licensing agreement, Boston Children’s will be eligible to receive certain development and commercial milestone payments, as well as royalties on product sales from Shire. Shire will have the primary responsibility for any further clinical development and commercialization of products arising from the collaboration. The agreement, negotiated by TIDO, represents a flexible structure that aligns the parties according to their strengths.

Erik Halvorsen, PhD, Executive Director of the Technology & Innovation Development Office at Boston Children’s noted, “This flexible partnership structure allows alignment and collaboration early in the drug development process, increasing the chance that the joint team will ultimately be successful translating research into new products.”

“As a leader in rare diseases, Shire is pleased to enter into this innovative collaboration with Boston Children’s, which joins together leaders in academia and industry to advance pioneering research from the lab to the clinic,” said Dr. Philip J. Vickers, Global Head of Research and Development, Shire HGT. “Shire has a deep commitment to patients with rare diseases, and our developmental expertise combined with Boston Children’s research capabilities should enable an acceleration of our discovery and development efforts.”

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