At first blush, new Shire plc CEO Flemming Ornskov's plan to invest in early R&D while integrating business units looks like a rehash of the company's strategy from 2000. But Ornskov expects the latest move will actually help align resources and potentially broaden the company's specialty pipeline.

Until 2000, Shire was a growth through acquisition company with little internal R&D. That all changed in 2000, with the acquisition of BioChem Pharma Inc. and the company's decision to focus more on R&D (see BioCentury, Dec. 18, 2000).