Novo Nordisk and Dicerna Partner in Collaboration Worth Up to $607 Million

November 19, 2019

The companies will work to discover and develop therapies for the treatment of liver-related cardio-metabolic diseases using Dicerna’s proprietary GalXC RNAi platform technology.

Novo Nordisk and Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company based in Lexington, MA, announced a collaboration to discover and develop therapies for the treatment of liver-related cardio-metabolic diseases using Dicerna’s proprietary GalXC RNAi platform technology. The partnership is worth up to $607 million and will investigate over 30 liver cell targets to find potential clinical candidates for disorders, including chronic liver disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), type 2 diabetes, obesity, and rare diseases.

According to a Nov. 18, 2019 Dicerna press release, the agreement will allow each company to co-develop and co-commercialize product candidates, with Novo Nordisk leading programs for cardio-metabolic disorders and other indications and Dicerna initiating two new orphan liver disease programs. Both companies will share in the profit and losses of net sales of products for all co-development programs.

Additionally, through the agreement, Dicerna will gain an upfront payment of $175 million, a $50 million investment, $25 million annually the first three years of the agreement, and up to $357.5 million per target in development, regulatory, and commercialization milestone payments, plus tiered royalties on product sales ranging from the mid-single-digits to mid-teens.

“We are excited to collaborate with Novo Nordisk on this broad research and development effort that extends the reach of our GalXC platform to a wide range of liver cell targets and maximizes our opportunities in serious liver diseases,” said Douglas M. Fambrough, PhD, president and CEO of Dicerna. “Our efforts will benefit from Novo Nordisk’s expertise in cardio-metabolic diseases and years of experience developing and commercializing innovative therapies worldwide, which will help us advance novel RNAi treatments for underserved patient populations.”

“Through this important collaboration with Dicerna, we gain access to an innovative technology and deep expertise in RNA interference,” said Marcus Schindler, senior vice president of Global Drug Discovery in Novo Nordisk. “Dicerna is the ideal partner to discover and develop molecules for targets that may yield multiple potential treatments across disease areas such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular, and NASH. We will work closely together to unlock the true potential of treating a range of diseases using RNAi therapies, for the benefit of patients.”

Source: Dicerna