Novo Nordisk A/S is to acquire Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc, a company developing candidate RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics for multiple diseases including cardiometabolic, viral, and chronic liver indications. Under the terms of the agreement, Novo will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Dicerna for $38.25 per share for a total equity value of $3.3 billion.
Novo has had a research collaboration with Dicerna since 2019 under which the two companies have been exploring more than 30 liver cell targets for disorders including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), Type 2 diabetes, obesity and rare diseases. Novo expects to start clinical development with the first target in 2022.
RNAi therapeutics have their origin in research that earned a Nobel Prize in 2006. The US scientists Craig Mellow and Andrew Fire won the prize in medicine for describing the role played by double-stranded RNA in silencing genes that code for the production of disease-causing proteins. Dicerna and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc were among the first companies to exploit the new technology. Novo didn’t say how the acquisition would affect Dicerna’s existing collaborations with other companies which include Alnylam, the Roche Group, Eli Lilly and Company and Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH.
Novo Nordisk announced the acquisition on 18 November 2021.
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