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Novo Nordisk acquires two US biopharma companies

Strikes deals with Calibrium LLC and MB2
Novo Nordisk HQ

Novo Nordisk has acquired two biopharmaceutical companies in the US in a bid to further expand and strengthen its diabetes portfolio.

The acquisition comes just a day after Novo announced plans to invest approximately $2bn in production facilities in the US and Denmark for its diabetes range with focus on its next-generation oral semaglutide.

Calibrium and MB2, both based in Indiana, focus on the research and development of new drugs for diabetes and related metabolic diseases.

Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive VP and chief science officer at Novo Nordisk, said: “We are always on the lookout for ways to strengthen our leadership position within therapeutic proteins.

“This research team has demonstrated world-class capabilities in protein design and created a project portfolio of innovative product leads that fit very well with our aspirations within diabetes and obesity.”

Calibrium was founded by former Marcadia Biotech executives Fritz French and Richard DiMarchi with funding of $1.7m in 2013.

DiMarchi himself is a prolific inventor and has applied for around 50 patents since the sale of Marcadia Biotech to Roche for $287m in 2011.

His most recent patents focus on glucagon-based peptides that can be used to control blood sugar and stimulate the release of insulin.

DiMarchi, who also founded MB2, said: “It's an honour to join the global Novo Nordisk research community. Their intense focus on metabolic diseases, which over the years has led to numerous breakthrough protein-based medicines, aligns perfectly with my career-long priorities.

“I'm optimistic that together we can create novel, transformative therapies in the fight against the global epidemic of diabetes and obesity.”

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, which are subject to US regulatory approval and expected to close by the end of September.

Article by
Nikhil Patel

28th August 2015

From: Sales

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