Novo Nordisk to Acquire Forma Therapeutics for $1.1 Billion

Novo Nordisk’s $1.1 billion acquisition of Forma Therapeutics is intended to expand its sickle cell and rare blood disorder portfolio.

Novo Nordisk and Forma Therapeutics announced on Sep. 1, 2022 that Novo Nordisk would be acquiring Forma Therapeutics for approximately $1.1 billion. Novo Nordisk’s acquisition of Forma grants them access to the company’s portfolio of sickle cell disease (SCD) and rare blood medicines, including its lead development candidate, etavopivat. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Etavopivat is an investigational oral, once-daily, selective pyruvate kinase-R (PKR) activator that is being developed to improve anemia and red blood cell health in people with SCD. According to a company press release, it activates the red blood cell’s natural PKR activity to decrease levels of the metabolite 2,3-diphosphoglyceric acid; this is designed to allow sickle hemoglobin to hold on to oxygen longer, resulting in decreased polymerization, hemolysis, and sickling. It is currently being evaluated in a global Phase II/III trial in patients with SCD and a Phase II trial in patients with transfusion-dependent SCD and another inherited hemoglobinopathy called thalassemia.

“Novo Nordisk has worked for more than 40 years to develop and deliver transformative medicines to patients around the world with rare and devastating diseases. By adding Forma’s differentiated approach to address unmet needs for patients, we are taking a step forward in enhancing our sickle cell disease pipeline,” said Ludovic Helfgott, executive vice-president and head of rare disease, Novo Nordisk, in a company press release. “We have an ambition to build a leading portfolio with standalone and combination treatments to tackle the complications and underlying causes of sickle cell disease.”

“Today’s announcement is an exciting milestone that accelerates Forma’s purpose to transform the lives of patients with sickle cell disease and other serious hematological diseases,” said Frank D. Lee, president and CEO, Forma Therapeutics, in the release. “Novo Nordisk will partner closely with the sickle cell community to amplify our impact for patients around the world who urgently need new treatment options. We look forward to working together with Novo Nordisk to serve as a trusted partner to our communities and to advance innovation, access, and health equity for patients.”

Source: Forma Therapeutics