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Novo Nordisk eyes acquisition of Global Blood Therapeutics

Published on 09/03/17 at 10:48am

Novo Nordisk has been notoriously shy when it comes to making acquisitions but Reuters has reported that this may be set to change. According to reports, Novo Nordisk has approached Global Blood Therapeutics, a US-based biotech company focusing on blood disorders, to discuss a potential takeover.

The move comes at a difficult time for Novo Nordisk, with profits from its diabetes business are beginning to flag under the strain of competition. Novo Nordisk had focused on building up its portfolio of insulin and other treatments for diabetes but has recently sought to diversify its haematology portfolio.

A potential acquisition of Global Blood Therapeutics would fit well into this current plan, as its leading candidate is a treatment for sickle-cell disease. The drug, GBT440, is going through Phase 2 trials and is a once-daily oral medication that acts to increase the supply of oxygen to the lungs. There are approximately 160,000 people that suffer from sickle cell disease in the US and Europe, and with treatment cost high, it could be a potentially lucrative niche to expand into.

The move to acquire another company could be a signal of a change of strategy being implemented by Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, Novo Nordisk’s CEO who came into the position in January of this year.

Global Blood Therapeutics shares have spiked as a result of the interest from Novo Nordisk and there are other companies that are reported to be circling. The company had a market value of $1.2 billion after rising of 32% at its peak.

Ben Hargreaves

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