Novo Nordisk acquires cardiovascular therapies developer

Novo Nordisk head office

Novo Nordisk has acquired Cardior Pharmaeuticals for up to €1.025 billion, including an upfront payment and additional payments if certain milestones are achieved.

Cardior is focused on the discovery and development of therapies that target RNA to prevent, repair and reverse diseases of the heart.

The company seeks to advance a novel class of antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) targeting non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that act on several key disease pathways simultaneously.

The agreement includes Cardior’s lead compound CDR132L, which is designed to halt and partially reverse cellular pathology by selectively blocking abnormal levels of the microRNA molecule miR-132.

“By welcoming Cardior as a part of Novo Nordisk, we will strengthen our pipeline of projects in cardiovascular disease where we already have ongoing programmes across all phases of clinical development,” said Martin Holst Lange, Executive Vice President for Development at Novo Nordisk. “We have been impressed by the scientific work carried out by the Cardior team, especially on CDR132L, which has a distinctive mode of action and potential to become a first-in-class therapy.”

In a Phase Ib trial CDR132L was reported to be safe and well tolerated and the results suggested cardiac functional improvements in people with heart failure compared to placebo. CDR132L is currently being investigated in the Phase II trial HF-REVERT in 280 people with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) who have previously suffered a heart attack.

Novo Nordisk plans to initiate a second Phase II trial that will investigate CDR132L in a chronic heart failure population with cardiac hypertrophy.

Claudia Ulbrich, CEO and Co-founder of Cardior, said: “Novo Nordisk is the ideal partner based on its deep clinical and commercial expertise combined with its resources to accelerate our late-stage development programme, including through larger registrational studies. We look forward to advancing CDR132L towards market approval.”

Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, DDW

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