Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen revealed that the company plans to acquire more companies with drugs in early- to mid-stages of development through “bolt-on” deals worth a few billion dollars. This strategy aligns with Novo’s focus on disease areas where it already has a stronghold, such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, rare blood disorders like haemophilia and sickle cell. Jorgensen emphasized that Novo’s M&A strategy is centered around disease areas where the company has a deep biological understanding and wants to leverage specific technologies, such as protein engineering. While Novo’s research and development (R&D) engine remains strong, Jorgensen stated that transformative deals are unlikely in the near future.
Novo’s recent success can be attributed to the high demand for its weight-loss medicine Wegovy. As a result, the company aims to increase production of Wegovy and its diabetes drug Ozempic to meet the growing market demand. Novo’s focus on obesity drugs has propelled it to become Europe’s most valuable company, with a 49% increase in share price this year. In line with its growth strategy, Novo recently announced a $6 billion investment in one of its Danish production facilities.
In terms of acquisitions, Novo recently agreed to purchase a drug for uncontrolled hypertension from KBP Biosciences for up to $1.3 billion. This deal is part of a series of similarly-sized acquisitions that Novo has made this year. Looking ahead, Novo is actively seeking opportunities to acquire companies in the cardiometabolic space with early-stage drugs.
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