Drugs Health Pharma

Novo Nordisk to buy hypertension drug from KBP for $1.3 billion

HQ Team

October 16, 2023: Danish pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk, announced it was buying a hypertension drug, still in trials, from Singapore-based KBP Biosciences for $1.3 billion.

Ocedurenone, in the final stages of global trials, is being tested for uncontrolled hypertension with potential use in cardiovascular and kidney disease.

The drug has been investigated in nine clinical trials and the mid-stage trial has met its primary endpoint, according to a statement from Novo Nordisk.

It demonstrated a “clinically meaningful and statistically significant improvement” in systolic blood pressure from baseline to day 84 in patients with chronic kidney disease and uncontrolled hypertension.

“There were no reports of severe hyperkalemia or acute kidney injury with ocedurenone in the trial.”

Acquire by 2023-end

The acquisition is expected to close before the end of 2023 and Novo Nordisk will fund the acquisition from financial reserves.

The transaction will not impact Novo Nordisk’s previously communicated operating profit outlook for 2023 or the ongoing share buy-back programme, according to the statement.

“This deal is closely aligned with our strategic focus on expanding from our core in diabetes into other serious chronic diseases, including through novel drug modalities, to help many more patients living with unmet medical needs,” said Camilla Sylvest, executive vice president, Commercial Strategy & Corporate Affairs at Novo Nordisk.

Complement portfolio

“We look forward to adding ocedurenone to our pipeline as it will complement our current development programmes in cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease.”

Ocedurenone is orally administered. Uncontrolled hypertension is when a person’s blood pressure remains high despite taking two or more blood pressure-lowering treatments.

Hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular events, heart failure, chronic kidney disease and premature death.

An estimated 1.28 billion adults aged between 30 and 79 years globally have hypertension, with two-thirds living in low- and middle-income countries.

The Phase 3 trial has been initiated in the US, Europe and Asia with the first patient dosed at the end of 2021.

It will continue as planned with a total of more than 600 patients expected to be randomised in more than 150 sites. Randomization reduces bias and provides a rigorous tool to examine cause-effect relationships between an intervention and outcome.

“The transition is an exciting inflection point in the discovery, research and development work on ocedurenone carried out by KBP, a young player still establishing itself in the global pharmaceutical industry,” said Dr Fred Yang, chief development officer of KBP Biosciences.

Novo Nordisk expects to initiate Phase 3 trials in additional cardiovascular and kidney disease indications in the coming years, aiming to maximise the full potential of ocedurenone.

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