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Novo Nordisk to acquire Emisphere Technologies for USD 1.8 billion

Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen

Novo Nordisk has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Emisphere Technologies, a drug delivery company with technologies such as the Eligen SNAC technology, that enable oral formulations of therapeutics.

Novo Nordisk and Emisphere have collaborated since 2007 and Emisphere’s drug delivery technology Eligen SNAC is used by Novo Nordisk under an existing licence agreement in the oral formulation of Novo Nordisk’s GLP-1 receptor agonist semaglutide, which is marketed and sold under the brand name Rybelsus.

Total acquisition price is USD 1.8 billion

Under the terms of the agreement, Novo Nordisk will acquire all outstanding shares of Emisphere for USD 1.350 billion. As part of the transaction, Novo Nordisk will also acquire related Eligen SNAC royalty stream obligations owed to MHR Fund Management LLC (MHR), the largest shareholder of Emisphere, for USD 450 million. Consequently, the total acquisition price is USD 1.8 billion.

With these acquisitions, Novo Nordisk eliminates its future royalty obligations to Emisphere and MHR and obtains full access to the Eligen SNAC technology platform thereby enabling Novo Nordisk to expand the portfolio of oral biologic pipeline assets across therapy areas.

Full ownership of the Eligen SNAC technology

“The acquisition of Emisphere provides Novo Nordisk full ownership of the Eligen SNAC technology, which has been successfully used under a licence agreement to develop the first oral biologic, Rybelsus,” says Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Novo Nordisk.  “We intend to apply and further develop the technology and use it on current and future pipeline assets with the aim of making more biologic medicines orally available for patients”.

Photo of Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen: Novo Nordisk