UPDATE 1-EU approves Shire’s Gaucher disease drug Vpriv

* European Commission grants marketing authorisation

* Follows U.S. regulatory approval of medicine in February

* Shire’s Vpriv an alternative to Genzyme’s Cerezyme

(Adds details on drug, competition)

LONDON, Aug 26 (BestGrowthStock) – The European Commission has
granted marketing authorisation for Shire’s (SHP.L: ) Vpriv drug
to treat Gaucher disease, a rare genetic disorder, the drugmaker
said on Thursday.

The approval had been expected following a positive
recommendation from the European Medicines Agency in June.

The injectable drug is an alternative to Genzyme’s (GENZ.O: )
Cerezyme. Cerezyme has been in short supply due to manufacturing
problems, although the U.S. group said on Thursday it would end
rationing of the product in September.

The European green light for Vpriv follows an approval in
February in the United States, where Shire has taken aim at its
rival with plans to sell its drug at a 15 percent discount to
Cerezyme.

Vpriv, known generically as velaglucerase, is an important
new product for Shire, which is focusing its business
increasingly on rare genetic disorders.

Gaucher disease affects people who lack enough of a certain
enzyme and can lead to life-threatening organ damage.
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Holmes)

UPDATE 1-EU approves Shire’s Gaucher disease drug Vpriv