German Authority Gives Go Ahead To Novo Nordisk's Small Bolt On Acquisition As Danish Firm Seeks To Build Heart Drugs Pipeline

Zinger Key Points
  • The agreement includes Cardior's lead compound CDR132L, currently in phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of heart failure.
  • Novo Nordisk plans to initiate a second phase 2 trial for CDR132L in a chronic heart failure population with cardiac hypertrophy.

Thursday, Germany’s competition authority, Bundeskartellamt, cleared the planned acquisition of Cardior Pharmaceuticals GmbH by Danish pharma giant Novo Nordisk A/S NVO.

Cardior is a biotech company focusing on heart diseases, in the case at hand cardiac insufficiency or heart failure. 

The company has not yet offered any approved substances. Cardior’s main development product is an active substance against cardiac insufficiency caused by heart attacks. 

In March, Novo Nordisk agreed to acquire Cardior for up to €1.025 billion. The agreement includes Cardior’s lead compound, CDR132L, which is currently in phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of heart failure.

The acquisition is an important step forward in Novo Nordisk’s strategy to establish a presence in cardiovascular disease. 

“By welcoming Cardior as a part of Novo Nordisk, we will strengthen our pipeline of projects in cardiovascular disease where we already have ongoing programs across all phases of clinical development,” said Martin Holst Lange, executive vice president for Development at Novo Nordisk. 

CDR132L is designed to halt and partially reverse cellular pathology by selectively blocking abnormal levels of the microRNA molecule miR-132. This could potentially lead to long-lasting improvement in heart function.

In a phase 1b trial published in the European Heart Journal, CDR132L was reported to be safe and well tolerated. The results suggested cardiac functional improvements in people with heart failure compared to placebo. 

CDR132L is currently being investigated in the phase 2 trial HF-REVERT in 280 people with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) who have previously suffered a heart attack (myocardial infarction). The first patient was dosed in the HF-REVERT trial in July 2022.

Novo Nordisk plans to initiate a second phase 2 trial that will investigate CDR132L in a chronic heart failure population with cardiac hypertrophy – a condition characterized by thick and stiff heart muscles.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2024.

Price Action: NVO shares are down 1.42% at $122.77 at the last check Thursday.

Photo via Shutterstock

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