Novo Nordisk pivots into cardiovascular therapeutic segment with the acquisition of Prothena’s ATTR amyloidosis program. ATTR amyloidosis is a rare disease with significant unmet clinical need. The deal includes exclusive global rights for PRX004 – a monoclonal antibody therapy along with the entire ATTR amyloidosis business and pipeline.
Prothena’s antibody PRX004 depletes the amyloid deposits associated with ATTR. PRX004 has completed a phase-1 dose-escalation study in 21 patients with hereditary form of ATTR and was found to be safe and well-tolerated.
As part of the deal, Prothena will receive USD 100 million upfront payment and subsequent development, commercial milestones and sales royalties, pitching the total deal value close to USD 1.2 billion. Post acquisition, Novo Nordisk will continue the development of the drug for ATTR cardiomyopathy which involves accumulation of amyloid deposits in the cardiac tissue.
Novo Nordisk’s portfolio mainly comprises of diabetes, obesity drugs and few hormonal products. With the acquisition of PRX004 Novo Nordisk enters into creating a portfolio of relatively new segment of cardiovascular drugs while it also continues to branch out the diabetes portfolio of GLP2 inhibitors into obesity and other metabolic diseases. On approval and launch, Novo Nordisk will compete against Alnylam Pharmaceutical’s approved RNAi drug Onpattro® for hereditary ATTR amyloidosis while it works towards the indication expansion into ATTR cardiomyopathy.
Amyloid dysregulation pathway is also associated with a host of other diseases such as AL amyloidosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s etc. and Prothena has an active clinical pipeline of novel antibodies targeting amyloid-related conditions. Last month, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced a collaboration with Prothena to develop PRX005 for Alzheimer’s for an upfront payment of USD 80 million. With the approval of Biogen’s Aduhelm® for Alzheimer’s, there has been a renewed interest in amyloid-targeting mAbs for neurodegenerative conditions and the space has been buzzing with action.