ImageShire plc, the global specialty biopharmaceutical company, has signed an agreement with UCB to acquire the worldwide rights to Equasym IR and XL (methylphenidate hydrochloride) (excluding the USA, Canada and Barbados) used for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Equasym XL is approved and marketed in 10 countries (outside the USA, Canada, and Barbados), and Equasym IR is currently approved and marketed in four countries. In 2008 the products generated aggregate net sales of €16.9 million in these territories.

This acquisition will broaden the scope of Shire's ADHD portfolio and will facilitate immediate access to the European ADHD market as well as provide Shire the opportunity to enter additional world markets. Equasym will allow Shire to build on its status as the leader in the United States ADHD market with patients and customers in Europe and establishes a solid bridge for Shire's other ADHD treatments in territories outside of the United States. Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate), used for the treatment of ADHD in paediatric and adult patients, was launched by Shire in the United States in July 2007 and is in phase-3 trials in Europe.

As part of this transaction, approximately 20 sales and sales management personnel will transfer to Shire, providing an established sales force for Equasym and other potential ADHD products.

Michael Cola, president of Shire's Specialty Pharmaceuticals business, commented, "The acquisition of the EQUASYM franchise accelerates the establishment of Shire's ADHD presence in markets outside of North America. Our expertise and portfolio of ADHD products will provide a strong foundation from which we can offer innovative treatments for adults and children with ADHD."

Shire will make a cash payment to UCB of €55 million for the acquisition of global rights (ex-USA, Canada and Barbados) on completion of the transaction. The acquisition is expected to be earnings neutral for 2009 and accretive from 2010 on a Non GAAP basis. In addition, small milestone payments may become payable in 2009 and 2010 if certain net sales targets are met. The acquisition is subject to standard closing conditions.