Shire Pharmaceuticals Announces Merger Update

Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc

    BASINGSTOKE, England, April 30 /PRNewswire/ --
 Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc ("Shire") (Nasdaq:   SHPGY) (LSE: SHP.L)
 proposed merger with BioChem Pharma Inc. ("BioChem") (Nasdaq:   BCHE)
 (Toronto: BCH):
     Following the meetings of Shire and BioChem shareholders held on 29 March
 2001, which gave overwhelming shareholders' approval to the completion of the
 merger of the two companies, Shire, supported by BioChem, has continued to
 conduct active discussions with officials of the Investment Review Division,
 the Industry Canada agency responsible for the review of foreign investments
 in Canada pursuant to the Investment Canada Act.
     In addition, as announced on 29 March 2001, Shire was entitled to make
 representations and submit undertakings until 27 April 2001.
     Industry Canada informed Shire on 27 April 2001 that the date for
 completion of the merger review has been extended to 11 May 2001, or such
 other date as the parties may agree to.
     The Investment Canada Act approval remains the only major outstanding
 condition to be met to make the merger effective.
     The Directors of both Shire and BioChem continue to believe the merits of
 the merger are compelling strategically and financially.
     Further announcements will be made when appropriate.
 
     This press announcement has been issued by Shire Pharmaceuticals
 Group plc.  It has been approved by Deutsche Bank AG London ("Deutsche Bank")
 solely for the purposes of section 57 of the UK Financial Services Act 1986.
     Deutsche Bank, which is regulated by The Securities and Futures Authority
 Limited, is acting exclusively for Shire and no-one else in connection with
 the merger described in this announcement and will not be responsible to any
 other person for providing the protections afforded to customers of Deutsche
 Bank or advising any such person on the contents of this announcement or any
 transaction referred to herein.
 
     Statements in this press release regarding Shire's business which are not
 historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and
 uncertainties, including but not limited to, risks associated with the
 inherent uncertainty of pharmaceutical research, product development and
 commercialisation, the impact of competitive products, patents, and other
 risks and uncertainties, including those detailed from time to time in
 periodic reports, including the Annual Report filed on Form 10K by Shire with
 the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
     Notes:
     Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc
     Shire is a fast growing, international specialty pharmaceutical company
 with a strategic focus on four therapeutic areas: central nervous system
 disorders, metabolic diseases, oncology and gastroenterology.  The Group has a
 sales and marketing infrastructure with a broad portfolio of products, with
 its own direct marketing capability in the US, Canada, UK, Republic of
 Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain and with plans to add Japan by 2004.
 Shire also covers other significant pharmaceutical markets indirectly through
 distributors and sales coverage continues to grow.
     Shire's global search and development expertise has to date successfully
 provided eight marketed products, of which Reminyl* for the treatment of
 Alzheimer's disease was recently launched in the UK, its first market in
 Europe and was approved by the FDA on 28 February 2001.  The current pipeline
 of 17 projects includes three projects in registration in various countries
 and 7 others that are post Phase II.  Shire is actively seeking to acquire
 further marketed products and development projects to enhance the potential
 for future growth.  Shire's M&A activity has resulted in five completed
 mergers and acquisitions during the last six years.
     On 11 December 2000, Shire entered into an agreement to merge with
 BioChem Pharma Inc. to form a leading global specialty pharmaceutical company.
 More details on this proposed merger and other aspects of the company are
 available on the Shire website at www.shire.com .
 
 

SOURCE Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc
    BASINGSTOKE, England, April 30 /PRNewswire/ --
 Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc ("Shire") (Nasdaq:   SHPGY) (LSE: SHP.L)
 proposed merger with BioChem Pharma Inc. ("BioChem") (Nasdaq:   BCHE)
 (Toronto: BCH):
     Following the meetings of Shire and BioChem shareholders held on 29 March
 2001, which gave overwhelming shareholders' approval to the completion of the
 merger of the two companies, Shire, supported by BioChem, has continued to
 conduct active discussions with officials of the Investment Review Division,
 the Industry Canada agency responsible for the review of foreign investments
 in Canada pursuant to the Investment Canada Act.
     In addition, as announced on 29 March 2001, Shire was entitled to make
 representations and submit undertakings until 27 April 2001.
     Industry Canada informed Shire on 27 April 2001 that the date for
 completion of the merger review has been extended to 11 May 2001, or such
 other date as the parties may agree to.
     The Investment Canada Act approval remains the only major outstanding
 condition to be met to make the merger effective.
     The Directors of both Shire and BioChem continue to believe the merits of
 the merger are compelling strategically and financially.
     Further announcements will be made when appropriate.
 
     This press announcement has been issued by Shire Pharmaceuticals
 Group plc.  It has been approved by Deutsche Bank AG London ("Deutsche Bank")
 solely for the purposes of section 57 of the UK Financial Services Act 1986.
     Deutsche Bank, which is regulated by The Securities and Futures Authority
 Limited, is acting exclusively for Shire and no-one else in connection with
 the merger described in this announcement and will not be responsible to any
 other person for providing the protections afforded to customers of Deutsche
 Bank or advising any such person on the contents of this announcement or any
 transaction referred to herein.
 
     Statements in this press release regarding Shire's business which are not
 historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and
 uncertainties, including but not limited to, risks associated with the
 inherent uncertainty of pharmaceutical research, product development and
 commercialisation, the impact of competitive products, patents, and other
 risks and uncertainties, including those detailed from time to time in
 periodic reports, including the Annual Report filed on Form 10K by Shire with
 the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
     Notes:
     Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc
     Shire is a fast growing, international specialty pharmaceutical company
 with a strategic focus on four therapeutic areas: central nervous system
 disorders, metabolic diseases, oncology and gastroenterology.  The Group has a
 sales and marketing infrastructure with a broad portfolio of products, with
 its own direct marketing capability in the US, Canada, UK, Republic of
 Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain and with plans to add Japan by 2004.
 Shire also covers other significant pharmaceutical markets indirectly through
 distributors and sales coverage continues to grow.
     Shire's global search and development expertise has to date successfully
 provided eight marketed products, of which Reminyl* for the treatment of
 Alzheimer's disease was recently launched in the UK, its first market in
 Europe and was approved by the FDA on 28 February 2001.  The current pipeline
 of 17 projects includes three projects in registration in various countries
 and 7 others that are post Phase II.  Shire is actively seeking to acquire
 further marketed products and development projects to enhance the potential
 for future growth.  Shire's M&A activity has resulted in five completed
 mergers and acquisitions during the last six years.
     On 11 December 2000, Shire entered into an agreement to merge with
 BioChem Pharma Inc. to form a leading global specialty pharmaceutical company.
 More details on this proposed merger and other aspects of the company are
 available on the Shire website at www.shire.com .
 
 SOURCE  Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc