Novo Nordisk Acquiring Cardior Pharmaceuticals For Up To €1.025 Billion

By Amit Chowdhry • Mar 25, 2024

Novo Nordisk and Cardior Pharmaceuticals announced today that Novo Nordisk has agreed to acquire Cardior for up to €1.025 billion, including an upfront payment and additional payments if specific development and commercial milestones are achieved.

Cardior is a leader in the discovery and development of therapies that target RNA to prevent, repair, and reverse heart diseases. The company’s therapeutic approach targets distinctive non-coding RNAs as a platform for addressing the root causes of cardiac dysfunctions and aiming to achieve lasting patient impact.

This agreement includes Cardior’s lead compound CDR132L, which is currently in phase 2 clinical development for treating heart failure.

The deal is a significant step forward in Novo Nordisk’s strategy for establishing a presence in cardiovascular disease. Through internal and external innovation, Novo Nordisk plans to build a focused, impactful portfolio of therapies to address the significant unmet needs still present in cardiovascular disease, the most common cause of death globally.

CDR132L was designed to halt and partially reverse cellular pathology by selectively blocking abnormal levels of the microRNA molecule miR-132, which could potentially lead to long-lasting improvement in heart function.

CDR132L was reported to be safe and well tolerated, and the results suggested cardiac functional improvements compared to placebo in a phase 1b trial published in the European Heart Journal. Now, CDR132L is being investigated in the phase 2 trial HF-REVERT in 280 people with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) who have previously suffered a heart attack (myocardial infarction). The first patient was dosed in the HF-REVERT trial in July 2022.

Novo Nordisk plans to initiate a second phase 2 trial to investigate CDR132L in a chronic heart failure population with cardiac hypertrophy. This condition causes the walls of the heart muscle to become thick and stiff, affecting the heart’s ability to pump blood.

The deal’s closing is subject to receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and customary conditions. It is expected to happen in the second quarter of this year.

The deal will not impact Novo Nordisk’s previously communicated operating profit outlook for 2024 or the ongoing share buy-back program. Novo Nordisk will fund the acquisition from its financial reserves.


“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. 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.”

– Martin Holst Lange, executive vice president for Development at Novo Nordisk

“This acquisition is a reflection of CDR132L’s transformative potential as a disease-modifying therapy for heart failure. 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.”

– Claudia Ulbrich, MD, CEO and co-founder of Cardior