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Trial data on eye drug buoy stock of Shire PLC

The stock of Lexington-based Shire PLC rose 7.9 percent Tuesday on positive news about trials of its drug lifitegrast.

Meant to treat dry-eye disease, lifitegrast has been held up for a year because the Food and Drug Administration told Shire earlier this month that it would need more data before deciding whether to approve it. The latest data showed statistically significant relief over a 12-week course of treatment for people with the disease and could boost Shire's chances with the FDA.

Chief executive Flemming Ornskov went further in an interview with Bloomberg, saying the news would boost Shire's chances of successfully acquiring Baxalta Inc. because the deal would be financed with Shire stock.

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Shire made an unsolicited offer for Baxalta earlier this year, but Baxalta's management insisted that it was better on its own.

Shire's stock closed at $228.07 Tuesday. The stock is down 20 percent from its July peak of $270.63.


Jack Newsham can be reached at jack.newsham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.