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Novo Nordisk to Acquire Dicerna for $3.3 Billion

November 18, 2021

Two years into a research collaboration focused on discovering and developing RNAi therapeutics targeting the liver, Novo Nordisk and Dicerna Pharmaceuticals have entered into a definitive agreement under which Novo Nordisk will acquire Dicerna.

Photo: Douglas Fambrough, founder, president and CEO of Dicerna

Novo Nordisk will pay $38.25 per share in cash, which represents a total equity value of $3.3 billion and a premium of 80 percent to Dicerna’s closing price on November 17, 2021. The transaction was unanimously approved by the Dicerna Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of Novo Nordisk.

“Since the start of our collaboration two years ago, the Dicerna and Novo Nordisk teams have established a strong rapport built on a foundation of mutual respect for one another’s capabilities, culture and expertise,” said Douglas Fambrough, founder, president and CEO of Dicerna. “The combination of Dicerna’s expertise in RNAi and oligonucleotide therapeutics and highly skilled employees with Novo Nordisk’s industry leadership in developing and commercializing medicines to treat serious chronic diseases, has the potential to significantly accelerate and expand our mission to deliver GalXC RNAi therapies for the benefit of patients and all our stakeholders.”

The companies’ research collaboration focused on discovering and developing RNAi therapies using Dicerna’s proprietary GalXC RNAi platform technology, which enables access to intracellular disease targets across hepatic and extrahepatic cell and tissue types, and encompassed the exploration of more than 30 liver cell targets with the potential to deliver multiple clinical candidates for disorders including chronic liver disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and rare diseases. Novo Nordisk expects to initiate clinical development of the first investigational RNAi therapeutic to emerge from this collaboration in 2022.

Novo Nordisk says Dicerna’s RNAi technology platform complements its existing technology platforms and supports its strategy of developing and applying a broad range of technology platforms across its therapeutic areas.

“The acquisition of Dicerna accelerates Novo Nordisk’s research within RNAi and expands the usage of the RNAi technology,” said Marcus Schindler, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Novo Nordisk. “We build on our successful collaboration and by combining Dicerna’s state-of-the-art RNAi drug engine and intracellular delivery with our deep capabilities in disease biology understanding and tissue targeting through peptides and proteins we have the potential to expand our pipeline and deliver life-changing precision medicines for people living with chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and NASH, as well as rare diseases like endocrine disorders and bleeding disorders.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Novo Nordisk, through a subsidiary, will initiate a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Dicerna common stock at a price of $38.25 per share in cash. The companies expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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