A billion-dollar acquisition makes Novo Nordisk even bigger in obesity

Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk acquires Montreal-based Inversago Pharma, which develops treatments for obesity and diabetes.

According to the agreement, Novo Nordisk will pay up to USD 1.075 billion, corresponding to SEK 11.4 billion, subject to the achievement of certain commercial and development milestones.

“The acquisition of Inversago Pharma will further strengthen our clinical development pipeline in obesity and related diseases,” said Martin Holst Lange, Executive Vice President for Development at Novo Nordisk, in a press release.

Inversago’s lead drug candidate INV-202 is an oral treatment designed to block the receptor protein CB 1, which affects the metabolism and regulation of appetite in adipose tissue, the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, liver, pancreas, muscles and lungs.

The treatment showed potential in weight loss in a phase Ib study, and is currently being tested in a phase II study in diabetic kidney disease, according to the press release.

Inversago has 22 employees who will continue to work on the clinical trials of INV-202.

Novo Nordisk has enjoyed recent success with its own obesity drug Wegovy, which showed a significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease according to a large study presented earlier this week. The announcement boosted the company’s stock and raised Novo Nordisk to number 19 on the list of the world’s most valuable companies, with a market value of USD 424 billion.

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