Dicerna™ today announced the closing of the discovery and development agreement between Dicerna and Novo Nordisk A/S (Novo Nordisk) following expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended.
As previously announced on Nov. 18, 2019, Dicerna and Novo Nordisk entered into an agreement to discover and develop novel therapies for the treatment of liver-related cardio-metabolic diseases using Dicerna’s proprietary GalXC™ RNAi platform technology. The collaboration will explore more than 30 liver cell targets and may deliver multiple clinical candidates for disorders including chronic liver disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), type 2 diabetes, obesity and rare diseases. Dicerna will conduct and fund discovery and preclinical development to clinical candidate selection for each liver cell target, and Novo Nordisk will be responsible for all further development. Dicerna retains the right to opt into two clinical-stage programs to be derived from the discovery collaboration.
Dicerna will receive an upfront payment of $175.0 million, following delivery of a program start-up package to Novo Nordisk, expected early in the first quarter of 2020. Under the terms of the agreement, Dicerna will receive $25.0 million annually for each of the first three years of the collaboration subject to delivery of RNAi molecules for a defined number of targets to Novo Nordisk, and up to $357.5 million per target in development, regulatory and commercialization milestone payments, plus tiered royalties on product sales ranging from the mid-single-digits to mid-teens. As part of the agreement, the Company issued to Novo Nordisk 2,279,982 shares of Dicerna common stock in connection with Novo Nordisk’s $50.0 million equity investment in Dicerna.
The agreement enables each company to co-develop and co-commercialize product candidates discovered under the collaboration. Novo Nordisk will lead programs targeting cardio-metabolic disorders and other indications with Dicerna having the option to opt into two programs during clinical development. Dicerna retains rights to initiate two new orphan liver disease programs for which Novo Nordisk can opt-in. For all co-development programs, the companies will share in the profit/loss of net sales of products consistent with each company’s contribution to co-development costs.
About Dicerna’s GalXC™ RNAi Technology Platform
Dicerna’s proprietary ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) technology platform, called GalXC™, aims to advance the development of next-generation RNAi-based therapies designed to silence disease-driving genes in the liver and other tissues. Liver-targeted GalXC-based compounds enable subcutaneous delivery of RNAi therapies that are designed to bind specifically to receptors on liver cells, leading to internalization and access to the RNAi machinery within the cells. The GalXC approach seeks to optimize the activity of the RNAi pathway so that it operates in the most specific and potent fashion. Compounds produced via GalXC are intended to be broadly applicable across multiple therapeutic areas, including both liver and non-liver indications.