In a joint statement Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk and U.S. drug developer Prothena Corp said, the former will acquire the latter’s experimental heart therapy PRX004, in a deal that could be worth up to $1.23 billion.
Novo’s acquisition is in line with its strategy to diversify its core insulin portfolio that has been facing tough competition, following which it turned towards newer diabetes and obesity drugs to pursue growth.
As part of the agreement, Prothena will receive $100 million in upfront and near-term clinical milestone payments for PRX004, which is currently in a mid-stage trial.
In December 2020, Prothena had said it had received positive data from an early-stage trial of PRX004 to treat hereditary ATTR amyloidosis, a life-threatening genetic disease that affects the heart, nerves and other organs.
Novo Nordisk will focus on developing PRX004 for ATTR cardiomyopathy, a potentially fatal form of the disease characterized by a build-up of amyloid deposits in cardiac tissue.
In June 2020, the Danish firm had agreed to buy AstraZeneca spin-off Corvidia Therapeutics for around $725 million to expand into cardiovascular disease treatments.
Prothena’s pipeline includes drugs being developed to treat several neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s as well as disorders like AL amyloidosis.