Shire plc has purchased Lumena for $260 million.

Lumena, headquartered in San Diego, develops drugs to treat liver diseases and metabolic disorders. 

Dublin-based Shire is a pharmaceutical company that develops specialty medications. In November, the company agreed to buy ViroPharma Inc. for about $4.2 billion to acquire treatments for rare diseases. 

RiverVest is a St. Louis, Missouri-based early-stage venture capital investor. The firm focuses on biotechnology companies. The firm has also invested in Accumetrics Inc., CGI Pharmaceuticals and Calypso Medical Technologies. Lumena was backed by venture capital firm RiverVest Venture Partners, which invested in Lumena from RiverVest Fund II, a $75 million fund that closed in 2006.

Companies have been acquiring pharmaceutical groups to add new products to their pipelines. Other recent pharmaceutical transactions include Akorn Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AKRX) deal for generic drug developer VersaPharm, and Horizon Pharma Inc.'s (Nasdaq: HZNP) purchase of Vidara Therapeutics International Ltd. 

For more on the pharmaceutical sector, see "Pursuing Pharmaceutical Manufacturing," "Mid-Market Pharma Firms Vie for Targets" and "Transatlantic Transactions."

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