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Novo Nordisk partners with Heartseed on heart failure cell therapy

Heartseed is eligible to receive up to a total $598m as part of the collaboration and licence agreement

Danish pharma company Novo Nordisk has announced a new collaboration and licence agreement with Japan’s Heartseed to develop the company’s investigational cell therapy HS-001 for heart failure.

HS-001, Heartseed’s lead asset, is an investigational cell therapy using purified cardiomyocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). The therapy is currently being developed as a treatment for heart failure.

Heartseed is already planning to launch a phase 1/2 study of HS-001 in Japan in the second half of 2021, which will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the therapy for the treatment of heart failure caused by ischaemic heart disease.

Under the terms of their agreement, Novo Nordisk will gain exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and commercialise HS-001 globally, excluding Japan where Heartseed will retain the rights to solely develop the therapy.

However, Novo Nordisk has the rights to co-commercialise HS-001 with Heartseed in Japan, with equal profit and cost sharing.

In return, Heartseed is eligible to receive up to a total $598m, with $55m earmarked in upfront and near-term milestone payments.

The Japanese biotech company is also eligible to receive tiered high single-digit to low double-digit royalties of annual net sales on the product outside Japan.

"We are delighted to have a company with the expertise and resources of Novo Nordisk as our partner for development and commercialisation of HS-001, and are also honoured that Novo Nordisk has recognised the innovativeness and high potential of our technology," said Keiichi Fukuda, chief executive officer of Heartseed.

"We believe that the partnership with Novo Nordisk is very valuable as we seek to disseminate our Japan-origin innovation globally as early as possible,” he added.

“Through this important collaboration with Heartseed, we aim to pioneer novel treatment solutions for people with cardiovascular disease,” said Marcus Schindler, chief scientific officer, EVP research and early development at Novo Nordisk.

“We [will] gain access to an innovative clinical asset, underlying technology and deep expertise within the field of iPSC biology and cardiac cell transplantation, which can be combined with our knowledge and capabilities in stem cell biology and manufacturing,” he added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

1st June 2021

From: Research, Sales

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