2023-10-18| Asia-PacificM&A

Novo Nordisk Acquires Ocedurenone with $1.3B for Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease

by Sinead Huang
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Novo Nordisk A/S and Singapore-based KBP Biosciences PTE., Ltd. have announced a strategic agreement, with Novo Nordisk acquiring Ocedurenone, a treatment for uncontrolled hypertension, and potential applications in cardiovascular and kidney diseases. This acquisition represents a substantial step in addressing a pressing global health concern, with a financial commitment of up to $1.3 billion US dollars.

Related article: Novo Nordisk Delivers Strong H1 Financial Performance, With Acquisition to Expand Weight Loss Market

Novo Nordisk’s Bold Move

This collaborative effort between Novo Nordisk and KBP Biosciences seeks to revolutionize the treatment of uncontrolled hypertension and its associated health risks. Ocedurenone, a promising oral medication, falls into the category of non-steroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (nsMRA). Its role is of paramount importance in the ongoing Phase 3 trial known as CLARION-CKD, which focuses on patients dealing with uncontrolled hypertension and advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Uncontrolled hypertension is a medical condition characterized by persistently high blood pressure levels, despite the administration of two or more antihypertensive treatments. It poses a substantial risk, increasing the likelihood of cardiovascular events, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and even premature death.

Martin Holst Lange, the Executive Vice President, and Head of Development at Novo Nordisk, underscores the significance of this breakthrough, “Hypertension is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular events, heart failure, chronic kidney disease and premature death. With its expected benefit-risk profile, Ocedurenone has best-in-class potential in treating uncontrolled hypertension and could help address a major unmet medical need in people living with cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease.”

This strategic move represents an exciting opportunity for both companies to address an ever-growing health concern while shaping the future of healthcare.

Uncontrolled Hypertension and Its Consequences

Hypertension, is a condition where an individual’s blood pressure remains consistently elevated. It is estimated that around 1.28 billion adults aged 30-79 years worldwide suffer from hypertension, with a significant portion residing in low- and middle-income countries. Alarmingly, almost half of the individuals with hypertension are unaware of their condition, and less than half of those diagnosed receive appropriate treatment.

Approximately 21% of adults with hypertension successfully manage their condition. Hypertension is closely linked to the risk of cardiorenal events, making it a significant area of concern for global health. Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, hypertension remains a leading cause of premature death, with a 40% increase since 1990.

Promising Future of Ocedurenone

Ocedurenone’s potential was put to the test through nine clinical trials, including the BLOCK-CKD Phase 2b trial. This trial proved to be a turning point, with Ocedurenone significantly improving systolic blood pressure (SBP) in patients with stage 3b/4 CKD and uncontrolled hypertension. Moreover, the trial reported no severe hyperkalemia or acute kidney injury associated with Ocedurenone.

In addition to its efficacy, Ocedurenone boasts a unique pharmacokinetic profile. This non-steroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist offers a long half-life and high mineralocorticoid receptor affinity. Previous MRAs have shown significant benefits in hypertension, heart failure, and cardiorenal advantages in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and type 2 diabetes.

Patients with cardiovascular disease, CKD, or diabetes are at increased risk of hyperkalemia (an elevated level of potassium ions in the blood), possibly causing muscle weakness or numbness in limbs, paralysis, or even life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. Ocedurenone, based on clinical studies conducted thus far, demonstrates the potential for favorable efficacy in blood pressure reduction and greater tolerability regarding hyperkalemia, thus making it a promising candidate for hypertension and related conditions.

Expanding Possibilities in Healthcare

Novo Nordisk’s strategic acquisition of Ocedurenone falls in line with their commitment to tackling chronic diseases beyond diabetes. With their extensive presence in the healthcare sector, they are well-equipped to advance this promising treatment and make it accessible to patients globally. This acquisition does not affect Novo Nordisk’s previously communicated operating profit outlook for 2023 or their ongoing share buy-back program. The transaction, which will be completed after regulatory approvals and customary conditions, is expected to conclude before the end of 2023.

This innovative endeavor paves the way for a healthier future by addressing a critical health issue while enhancing the potential of Ocedurenone in revolutionizing patient care and healthcare systems across the world. The introduction of this breakthrough therapy, alongside Novo Nordisk’s expansive reach, will be a vital step toward providing effective and accessible treatments for uncontrolled hypertension, benefiting individuals at risk of cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and other associated conditions.

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