Novo Nordisk | September 02, 2022
Novo Nordisk and Forma Therapeutics, Holdings Inc. announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Novo Nordisk will acquire Forma Therapeutics for $20 per share in cash, which represents a total equity value of $1.1 billion. Forma Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on transforming the lives of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) and rare blood disorders.
The acquisition of Forma Therapeutics, including its lead development candidate, etavopivat, is aligned with Novo Nordisk’s strategy to complement and accelerate its scientific presence and pipeline in hemoglobinopathies, a group of disorders in which there is abnormal production or structure of the hemoglobin protein in the red blood cells.
“Novo Nordisk has worked for more than 40 years to develop and deliver transformative medicines to patients around the world with rare and devastating diseases. By adding Forma’s differentiated approach to address unmet needs for patients, we are taking a step forward in enhancing our sickle cell disease pipeline,” said Ludovic Helfgott, executive vice president and head of Rare Disease at Novo Nordisk. “We have an ambition to build a leading portfolio with standalone and combination treatments to tackle the complications and underlying causes of sickle cell disease.”
Etavopivat, an investigational oral, once-daily, selective pyruvate kinase-R (PKR) activator, is being developed to improve anemia and red blood cell health in people with SCD, a seriously debilitating, life-threatening and life shortening disease. Etavopivat is currently being evaluated in a global phase 2/3 clinical trial (Hibiscus) in patients with SCD, and in a phase 2 trial (Gladiolus) in patients with transfusion-dependent SCD and another inherited hemoglobinopathy called thalassemia.
“Today’s announcement is an exciting milestone that accelerates Forma’s purpose to transform the lives of patients with sickle cell disease and other serious hematological diseases,” said Frank D. Lee, president and chief executive officer of Forma. “Novo Nordisk will partner closely with the sickle cell community to amplify our impact for patients around the world who urgently need new treatment options. We look forward to working together with Novo Nordisk to serve as a trusted partner to our communities and to advance innovation, access and health equity for patients.”
The transaction will not impact Novo Nordisk’s previously communicated operating profit outlook for 2022 or the ongoing share buy-back program. Novo Nordisk will fund the acquisition from financial reserves.
About the transaction
Under the terms of the agreement, Novo Nordisk will initiate a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Forma Therapeutics’ common stock at a price of $20 per share in cash (or aggregated value of $1.1 billion) and a premium of 92% to Forma Therapeutics’ volume-weighted average price per share over the past 30 days ended August 31, 2022.
The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Forma Therapeutics Board of Directors. The closing of the tender offer will be subject to certain conditions, including the tender of shares representing a majority of Forma Therapeutics’ outstanding shares, receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and other customary conditions. Upon the successful completion of the tender offer, Novo Nordisk’s acquisition subsidiary will merge into Forma Therapeutics, and any shares of common stock of Forma Therapeutics not tendered into the offer will receive the same USD per share price payable in the tender offer. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022.
In addition, certain affiliates of RA Capital Management, L.P., which collectively own approximately 19% of Forma Therapeutics’ outstanding shares, have entered into a support agreement pursuant to which they committed to tender their shares in the tender offer.
Novo Nordisk is represented by Moelis & Company UK LLP as financial advisor and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP as legal advisor. Forma Therapeutics is represented by Centerview Partners LLC as financial advisor and Goodwin Procter LLP as legal advisor.
About sickle cell disease
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a chronic and progressive inherited disorder associated with a decrease in the health and lifespan of red blood cells. People living with SCD have red blood cells that are crescent shaped, rendering them inflexible, fragile, and unable to effectively deliver oxygen. The health of these sickle red blood cells is impaired and characterized by reduced cellular energy, poor deformability, decreased membrane repair, and increased adhesion.
Around 17 million people worldwide live with SCD, including approximately 100,000 people in the United States, as well as approximately 30,000 in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. SCD can cause serious health problems, including anemia, fatigue, episodes of pain known as vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs), and chronic, progressive end-organ damage. Despite recent advances in treatment, most patients with SCD still suffer from pain crises, lifelong disability, reduced quality of life, and shortened life expectancy.
Etavopivat is an investigational, once-daily, selective pyruvate kinase-R (PKR) activator designed to be a disease-modifying therapy with the potential to improve red blood cell health and transform the lives of people living with SCD. Employing a multimodal approach, etavopivat works by activating the red blood cell’s natural PKR activity to decrease levels of the metabolite 2,3-DPG, allowing sickle hemoglobin to hold on to oxygen longer, resulting in decreased polymerization, hemolysis, and sickling. Etavopivat-mediated PKR activation also increases adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels, to improve red blood cell function, which can lead to improved deformability, capacity for membrane repair, red blood cell health, and lifespan. Together, these effects are anticipated to improve the health of sickle red blood cell and lead to a reduction in anemia, hemolysis, vaso-occlusive crises, and end organ damage.
In a phase 1 trial, etavopivat improved anemia and red blood cell health and appeared to have a safe and well-tolerated profile, demonstrating a potential to improve the lives of patients with SCD, including increases in hemoglobin, improvements in red blood cell health, and decreases in vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs).
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted etavopivat Fast Track, Rare Pediatric Disease and Orphan Drug designations. Additionally, etavopivat was granted Orphan Drug designation from the European Commission based on a positive opinion from the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products of the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of patients with SCD.
About Forma Therapeutics
Forma Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to transform the lives of patients with rare hematologic diseases and cancers. Forma Therapeutics R&D engine combines deep biology insight, chemistry expertise and clinical development capabilities to create drug candidates with differentiated mechanisms of action focused on indications with high unmet need. Our work has generated a broad proprietary portfolio of programs with the potential to provide profound patient benefit.
About Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines, and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 50,800 people in 80 countries and markets its products in around 170 countries.
Alira Health and Artisan Healthcare Consulting | September 07, 2022
Alira Health, a patient-centric, global health care advisory, clinical research and technology company, announced the acquisition of Artisan Healthcare Consulting, a US-based consulting firm that provides strategic insights to healthcare companies. Artisan serves 12 of the top 15 pharmaceutical companies in the US, supports the C-Suite of leading biotechnology companies, and has deep expertise in over 30 therapeutic areas.
The acquisition of Artisan strengthens and extends Alira Health’s Market Access and Management Consulting advisory practices in North America and globally. Clients of Alira Health and Artisan Healthcare Consulting now have access to the full breadth of advisory offerings from both firms. Alira Health clients can leverage Artisan’s deep expertise in brand strategy and analytics, new product differentiation, US market access, go-to-launch strategies, and product lifecycle management. Artisan Healthcare Consulting clients can benefit from Alira Health’s clinical operations, real-world evidence, and patient-centric technology offerings, including decentralized clinical trials (DCT), patient support programs (PSP) and digital therapeutics (DTx).
“Artisan Healthcare Consulting is recognized for delivering the highest level of strategic and quantitative analysis to help healthcare leaders act decisively across their business. Artisan Healthcare Consulting’s leadership has decades of experience serving as a long-term partner to healthcare executives. We welcome them to the Alira Health team.”
Jean-Francois Ricci, Chief Access Officer at Alira Health
“We are delighted to join a company with such a broad and complementary set of capabilities,” said Bob Delise, CEO and Founder of Artisan Healthcare Consulting. “It is a pleasure to work with our new colleagues, and we now have access to an international team of strategists and experts who can help our customers succeed. We embrace Alira Health’s mission to humanize healthcare and look forward to offering new capabilities to all our clients.”
Artisan Healthcare Consulting partners Bob Delise, Brad Ship, and Greg Wolfe will join Alira Health’s global consulting leadership team as they continue to work with their long-term clients.
About Artisan Healthcare Consulting, Inc.
Artisan Healthcare Consulting Inc. was founded in 2009 on the principle that outstanding client service differentiates a great consulting firm from a good one. Artisan provides strategic and analytic advice to a wide range of healthcare product companies. Artisan works across the biopharma industry to help clients steer emerging therapies through clinical development, launch them successfully, and drive success throughout the life cycle of their products.
About Alira Health
Alira Health is an international patient-centric, global health care advisory, clinical research, and technology company, whose mission is to humanize healthcare. We work with healthcare and life sciences organizations looking for support across their entire solutions lifecycle. From development to medical care, we complement our clients’ expertise with a full spectrum of services including research and clinical development solutions, technology-powered consulting, and real-world evidence.
Our integrated and multidisciplinary team of over 600 scientists, strategists, economists, clinicians, and biostatisticians collaborate across our North American, European, and Asian offices and advise 80% of the top 50% of MedTech companies and 75% of the top 50% of Pharma companies.
Amplicore, Inc. | July 15, 2022
Amplicore Inc., a Mason, OH-based, early-stage biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of minimally invasive therapeutic solutions for musculoskeletal disorders, today announced that the Food and Drug Administration has cleared their first application for AM3101, a novel treatment to promote healing of acute meniscal tears. The move enables the initiation of a Department of Defense-sponsored phase 1/2b clinical study in concert with the University of Cincinnati.
The FDA clearance marks the company's transition into a clinical stage company. In addition to AM3101, the company's pipeline also includes AM1101, which is being developed for osteoarthritis, and AM2101, with an indication to treat degenerative disc disease.
"We are very proud to announce the clearance for AM3101. Despite their commonality, service men and women have limited treatment options for acute meniscal tears. While suturing is often the most frequent approach, the failure rate for surgery is quite high due to the limited reparative capacity of much of the tissue. Our research has found that our Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) provides pain relief and promotes regeneration of the meniscus, as well as several other structurally related joint tissues. In this way, the transition of Amplicore into a clinical stage company represents a critical development for all patients suffering from musculoskeletal conditions."
Chief Executive Officer/Founder Dr. James Lin
Amplicore also announced the addition of Steve Schrader to its advisory board. A high-impact financial leader with three decades of experience in corporate finance, Schrader has held Chief Financial Officer positions in a variety of industries, including an international auto glass company, a private healthcare company, a Fortune 500 public utility, and a NASDAQ-listed startup. Throughout his career, Steve has increased revenue and raised over $1.3 Billion in capital for companies. He has also taken two firms from start-up to manufacturing.
Schrader will advise on financial planning and fundraising efforts. "Amplicore is a leader in developing injectable therapeutics for musculoskeletal disorders. I am excited to join the board during this pivotal time as they work to close their Series A investment round, and I look forward to being a part of their future success."
ABOUT AMPLICORE, INC.
Amplicore, Inc. is an early-stage biotech start-up company based on technology developed in the laboratory of CEO/Founder Dr. Chia-Ying Lin at the University of Cincinnati. Headquartered in Mason, OH, the company is dedicated to developing novel injectable therapeutics to serve unmet medical needs for degenerative musculoskeletal disorders. Unlike current therapies that focus solely on palliative treatment, Amplicore is also taking a regenerative approach to treating these disorders. The company's lead products, AM3101, AM1101, and AM2101, address significant deficiencies in the current standard of care for the treatment of acute meniscal tear, osteoarthritis, and degenerative disc disease, respectively. Amplicore's overall mission is to translate scientific innovation into effective but minimally invasive products that can be easily delivered to patients.