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Novo Nordisk Acquires Cardior Pharmaceuticals for $1.112B in Effort to Bolster Cardiovascular Disease Pipeline


Deal includes the novel treatment CDR132L, which is currently in Phase II clinical trials for heart failure.

Anatomy of Human Heart on medical background. 3d render. Generative Ai. Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/ckybe

Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/ckybe

Novo Nordisk announced that it has acquired Cardior Pharmaceuticals in hopes of improving its pipeline in cardiovascular disease management. The acquisition includes Cardior's top drug candidate, CDR132L, which is currently in Phase II of clinical development for treating heart failure. Under terms of the agreement, Cardor has the potential to earn up to $1.112 billion, including an upfront payment and the opportunity for more payments pending the completion of certain development and commercial milestones.1

“By welcoming Cardior as a part of Novo Nordisk, we will strengthen our pipeline of projects in cardiovascular disease where we already have ongoing programs across all phases of clinical development,” said Martin Holst Lange, EVP, development, Novo Nordisk, in a press release. “We have been impressed by the scientific work carried out by the Cardior team, especially on CDR132L, which has a distinctive mode of action and potential to become a first-in-class therapy designed to halt or partially reverse the course of disease for people living with heart failure.”

According to the company, CDR132L targets the microRNA molecule miR-132, and has been reported to be generally safe, tolerable, and has shown signs of improved cardiovascular function in patients with heart failure. Upon completion of the Phase II trial, Novo Nordisk stated that it intends to start another Phase II trial, which will focus on chronic heart failure with cardiac hypertrophy.

“This acquisition is a reflection of CDR132L’s transformative potential as a disease-modifying therapy for heart failure,” said Claudia Ulbrich, MD, CEO, co-founder, Cardior, in the press release. “Novo Nordisk is the ideal partner based on its deep clinical and commercial expertise combined with its resources to accelerate our late-stage development programme, including through larger registrational studies. We look forward to advancing CDR132L towards market approval.”

Back in 2021, Cardior revealed that it had raised close to $76 million in Series B funding to advance prospects such as CDR132L. Later on, its Phase Ib trial was published in the European Heart Journal. The first patient was dosed during the Phase II HF-REVERT trial in July 2022.1,2

“We believe ncRNAs can fundamentally change the treatment of heart disease by preventing, repairing and reversing damage to cardiac tissue. We thank our new and existing investors for their support and their confidence in our ability to achieve our goal,” said Ulbrich, in an earlier press release. “This substantial funding, provided by leading biotech investors, validates the strength of our RNA approach and our team. We welcome our new directors and look forward to working closely with our board as we continue our rapid progress toward the start of the Phase II trial with our lead program CDR132L, which has the potential to demonstrate clinical proof-of-concept as a transformative heart disease treatment and to set the stage for the emergence of a new class of medicines.”


1. Novo Nordisk to acquire Cardior Pharmaceuticals and strengthen pipeline in cardiovascular disease. Novo Nordisk. March 25, 2024. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://www.novonordisk.com/news-and-media/news-and-ir-materials/news-details.html?id=167038

2. Cardior Raises €64M Series B to Advance Clinical Pipeline of RNA Therapeutics to Treat Cardiac Disease. BusinessWire. August 25, 2021. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210825005314/en/Cardior-Raises-%E2%82%AC64M-Series-B-to-Advance-Clinical-Pipeline-of-RNA-Therapeutics-to-Treat-Cardiac-Disease

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