Novo Nordisk to enter RNA market with Dicerna purchase

Denmark's Novo Nordisk, the world's leading insulin maker, has revealed it will buy US-based Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, a developer of RNA interference technology which targets genes that cause disease. The two firms have already been working together for years to use RNAi therapies to treat liver disease, type-2 diabetes and obesity, among other diseases and conditions.

"The acquisition of Dicerna's ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) platform is a strategic addition to Novo Nordisk's existing research technology platforms. RNAi-based therapies to selectively silence genes that cause or contribute to disease," the company stated.


“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... as well as rare diseases like endocrine disorders and bleeding disorders,” explained Novo Nordisk’s chief scientific officer, Marcus Schindler explained.


The deal, which expected to be finalised by the end of 2021, was valued at US$3.3 billion. Novo Nordisk commands a 47-percent share of the global insulin market, which has been marked by a recent sharp drop in anti-diabetics prices in the US, the world's largest consumer.


The company reported its net profit rose 18 percent to US$1.9 billion in the third quarter, with sales increasing 15 percent.