Novo Nordisk Buys Dicerna Pharmaceuticals

22.11.2021 - Danish pharma Novo Nordisk has agreed to buy Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, offering $3.3 billion for the US biopharma and its ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) platform.

The takeover ranks as the biggest in Novo Nordisk’s history, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, exceeding last year’s $1.8 billion purchase of Emisphere Technologies.

The companies have been working together since 2019 to discover and develop RNAi therapies using Dicerna’s proprietary GalXC technology. They have found more than 30 liver cell targets that could potentially deliver multiple clinical candidates for disorders including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), type-2 diabetes, obesity and rare diseases. Novo Nordisk expects to start clinical trials of the first target in 2022.

Both boards have backed the deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

“The acquisition of Dicerna accelerates Novo Nordisk’s research within RNAi,” said Marcus Schindler, Novo Nordisk’s chief scientific officer, adding that the acquisition will expand its pipeline and deliver life-changing precision medicines for people living with chronic diseases, as well as endocrine and bleeding disorders.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist