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Novo Nordisk expands its biopharm business

Novo Nordisk headquarters

The compay has made an agreement to acquire the US and Canadian rights to Macrilen (macimorelin), an enhancer of growth hormone secretion and the first and only FDA-approved oral product indicated for the diagnosis of Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency (AGHD), a rare endocrine disorder, from Strongbridge Biopharma Plc.

Macrilen was approved by the FDA in December 2017 and FDA has granted Macrilen orphan drug exclusivity in the US. Macrilen was launched in the US in July 2018. With the acquisition of Macrilen, Novo Nordisk can further leverage its scientific and commercial expertise and commitment to the growth disorders community, it states.

USD 145 million

Novo Nordisk will pay USD 145 million to Strongbridge as well as tiered royalties related to sales of Macrilen. In addition, Strongbridge’s current field organisation will continue to promote Macrilen in the US for up to three-year agreement. Novo Nordisk’s existing biopharm field force will also support the commercialisation of Macrilen.

As part of the partnership with Strongbridge, Novo Nordisk will acquire newly issued Strongbridge shares representing approximately 10% of the outstanding shares of Strongbridge at a share price of USD 7 per share, corresponding to an investment of approximately USD 37 million.

“The acquisition of Macrilen is in line with the strategy for our biopharm business with growth being driven by both organic and bolt-on initiatives. Macrilen is highly complementary to Norditropin and will allow Novo Nordisk to assist physicians and patients in the diagnosis as well as treatment of patients with growth hormone deficiency,” said Jesper Brandgaard, executive vice president and head of Biopharm.

The transaction is expected to close in December 2018 and is subject to US regulatory approval.