Therapy Areas: Cardiovascular
Dicerna Pharmaceuticals signs contract with Novo Nordisk
20 November 2019 -

United States-based Dicerna Pharmaceuticals has signed a contract with Denmark-based Novo Nordisk for discovering and developing drugs for liver-related cardio-metabolic diseases, it was reported yesterday.

Both firms will make use of GalXC, an RNA interference (RNAi) technology platform developed by Dicerna, for the discovery of new therapies. The partnership is to look for more than 30 liver cell targets and is likely to generate multiple clinical candidates for disorders such as chronic liver disease, type two diabetes, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), obesity, and rare diseases. Dicerna will be responsible for the discovery of the RNAi candidates along with their preclinical development to clinical candidate selection for all the liver cell targets and also the funding. Novo Nordisk has agreed to undertake further development of the discovered RNA candidates.

The deal is valued at around USD607m. Under the terms of the deal, Dicerna will be paid upfront USD175m along with USD50m equity investment from Novo Nordisk. The US pharma company will also be entitled to USD25m payment per annum during each of the first three years of the collaboration, which will be subject to generating RNAi molecules for a defined number of targets. Another contingent payment for Dicerna will be up to USD357.5m in the form of development, regulatory and commercialisation milestone payments and also tiered royalties on sales of the resulting drugs.

The deal is subject to customary conditions, which includes the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

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