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Novo Acquires Inversago Pharma for $1B to Advance CB1 Receptor-Based Therapies

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Novo Nordisk, a global pharmaceutical company specializing in diabetes care and other metabolic disorders, has announced its acquisition of Inversago Pharma, a Montreal-based developer of CB1 receptor-based therapies. The deal involves an initial cash payment with potential additional payments upon achieving specific development and commercial milestones, totaling up to $1.075 billion.

Inversago Pharma is known for its lead development asset, INV-202, an oral CB1 inverse agonist designed to target the CB1 receptor protein. This receptor is involved in metabolism and appetite regulation, making it a potential candidate for the treatment of obesity, diabetes, and related metabolic disorders.

INV-202 has shown promise in early clinical trials, including a phase 1b trial demonstrating weight loss potential. It is currently undergoing a phase 2 trial for diabetic kidney disease (DKD). Novo Nordisk plans to further explore the potential of INV-202 for obesity and related complications, aiming to offer innovative treatment options for individuals living with these chronic conditions.

Martin Holst Lange, Executive Vice President for Development at Novo Nordisk, expressed enthusiasm for the acquisition, stating that Inversago Pharma’s research and development in the field of CB1 receptor-based therapies will enhance Novo Nordisk’s clinical development pipeline for obesity and related disorders.

François Ravenelle, CEO of Inversago Pharma, welcomed the partnership with Novo Nordisk, emphasizing the opportunity to unlock the full medical potential of CB1 blockers. The collaboration aims to expand treatment options for individuals affected by metabolic syndrome, obesity, and associated complications.

Inversago Pharma’s team of 22 employees will continue to focus on ongoing and planned trials while working closely with Novo Nordisk to advance the development of CB1 receptor-based therapies. The completion of the acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and customary conditions, anticipated to conclude by the end of 2023.

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