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Novo Nordisk to acquire Dicerna Pharmaceuticals

Marcus Schindler

Novo Nordisk has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Dicerna Pharmaceuticals (Dicerna) for a total equity value of approximately USD 3.3 billion.

The acquisition of Dicerna’s ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) platform is a strategic addition to Novo Nordisk’s existing research technology platforms and supports the strategy of using a broad range of technology platforms applicable across all Novo Nordisk’s therapeutic focus areas, the company states.

“The acquisition of Dicerna accelerates Novo Nordisk’s research within RNAi and expands the usage of the RNAi technology,” says 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”.

Initiate clinical development with the first target in 2022

Dicerna is a publicly held company focusing on RNAi-based therapeutics. Using its GalXC and GalXC-Plus RNAi technologies, Dicerna develops RNAi-based therapies to selectively silence genes that cause or contribute to disease. Dicerna’s RNAi technology platform enables access to intracellular disease targets across hepatic and extrahepatic cell and tissue types, describes Novo Nordisk.

In 2019, Novo Nordisk entered a research collaboration with Dicerna to discover and develop RNAi therapies. The collaboration between Novo Nordisk and Dicerna encompassed the exploration of more than 30 liver cell targets with the potential to deliver multiple clinical candidates for disorders including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), type 2 diabetes, obesity and rare diseases.

Novo Nordisk now expects to initiate clinical development with the first target in 2022.

A total equity value of approximately 3.3 billion USD

Under the terms of the agreement, Novo Nordisk will commence a cash tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Dicerna common stock for USD 38.25 per share in cash for a total equity value of approximately USD 3.3 billion.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Photo of Marcus Schindler: Novo Nordisk