Novo Nordisk’s Acquisition of Cardior Pharmaceuticals: Enhancing Cardiovascular Disease Pipeline

Novo Nordisk and Cardior Pharmaceuticals have announced a significant acquisition deal, with Novo Nordisk set to acquire Cardior for up to 1.025 billion Euros. This includes an upfront payment along with additional payments contingent upon the achievement of specific developmental and commercial milestones.

Cardior Pharmaceuticals specializes in pioneering therapies targeting RNA to prevent, repair, and reverse heart diseases. Their approach focuses on unique non-coding RNAs, aiming to address the fundamental causes of cardiac dysfunctions for long-term patient benefits.

A key component of the acquisition is Cardior’s leading compound, CDR132L, currently undergoing phase 2 clinical trials for heart failure treatment.

This acquisition marks a strategic move for Novo Nordisk to establish a stronghold in cardiovascular disease therapeutics. With a commitment to addressing significant unmet needs in cardiovascular health – the leading cause of global mortality – Novo Nordisk aims to curate a focused and impactful portfolio through internal innovations and strategic collaborations.

Martin Holst Lange, Executive Vice President for Development at Novo Nordisk, expressed enthusiasm about the acquisition, citing the impressive scientific work by the Cardior team, particularly regarding CDR132L’s unique mode of action and potential as a pioneering therapy for heart failure management.

CDR132L targets cellular pathology by selectively inhibiting abnormal levels of the microRNA molecule miR-132, potentially leading to substantial and enduring improvements in heart function. Early clinical trials have shown promising safety profiles and indications of cardiac functional enhancements compared to placebos.

Novo Nordisk plans to expand the clinical investigation of CDR132L, including initiating a phase 2 trial focused on chronic heart failure patients with cardiac hypertrophy, a condition impairing the heart’s pumping ability due to thickened and stiffened heart muscle walls.

Claudia Ulbrich, MD, CEO, and co-founder of Cardior, emphasized the transformative potential of CDR132L as a disease-modifying therapy for heart failure. Partnering with Novo Nordisk, with its extensive clinical and commercial expertise and resources, will expedite late-stage development, including larger registrational studies, ultimately advancing CDR132L towards regulatory approval.

The acquisition is pending regulatory approvals and customary conditions, expected to close in the second quarter of 2024. Novo Nordisk assures stakeholders that this transaction will not impact its previously communicated operating profit outlook for 2024 or its ongoing share buy-back program. The acquisition will be funded from Novo Nordisk’s financial reserves.

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