Novo Nordisk snaps up Dicerna for $3.3B

Nov. 18, 2021

Novo Nordisk announced this week that it is buying Dicerna Pharmaceuticals for $3.3 billion. 

Massachusetts-based Dicerna first teamed up with the Danish multinational pharma company in 2019 to explore liver cell targets using Dicerna’s proprietary GaIXC RNAi platform. The collaboration is aimed at discovering potential therapies for a range of cardio-metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes, obesity, chronic liver disease and more.

Novo Nordisk said the acquisition will allow the company to accelerate its RNAi research. 

“We have the potential to expand our pipeline and deliver life-changing precision medicines for people living with chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and NASH as well as rare diseases like endocrine disorders and bleeding disorders,” Marcus Schindler, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Novo Nordisk, said in a statement.

As part of the deal, Dicerna shareholders will receive $38.25 per share in cash — amounting to about $3.3 billion.

RNAi refers to RNA interference — a biological process involved in the regulation of gene expression. Only a handful of RNAi therapies have won FDA approval, but increasing R&D investments in the space is expected to trigger continued growth over the next few years.