On September 1, 2022, Novo Nordisk and Forma Therapeutics revealed that Novo Nordisk would buy Forma Therapeutics for for $1.1 billion. With the purchase of Forma, Novo Nordisk now has access to the company’s inventory of sickle cell disease (SCD) and rare blood drugs, including etavopivat, its top development candidate. The deal is anticipated to be finalised in the final quarter of 2022.
Etavopivat is a once-daily, investigational oral, specific pyruvate kinase-R (PKR) stimulator that is being created to help SCD patients with anaemia and red blood cell health. In accordance with a company press release, it stimulates the natural PKR activity of red blood cells to lower tiers of the metabolite 2,3-diphosphoglyceric acid. This is intended to help sickle haemoglobin hold onto oxygen for a longer period of time, which will reduce polymerization, hemolysis, and sickling. It is currently being studied in a global Phase II/III trial in SCD patients and a Phase II trial in SCD patients who require transfusions as well as those with thalassemia, another genetic hemoglobinopathy.
For more than 40 years, Novo Nordisk has fought to create and provide patients with rare and fatal diseases with transformational therapies. In a news release from Novo Nordisk, executive vice-president and head of rare illness Ludovic Helfgott stated, they are taking a step ahead in expanding their sickle cell disease pipeline by integrating Forma’s differentiated strategy to meet unmet requirements for patients. They hope to create a market-leading portfolio of medications that will address both the symptoms and fundamental causes of sickle cell disease.
According to the press release, Frank D. Lee, president and CEO of Forma Therapeutics, the announcement is indeed an important milestone that accelerates Forma’s aim to enhance the lives of people with sickle cell disease and other critical haematological disorders.” “To maximise their impact for sickle cell patients all over the world who urgently require new treatment choices, Novo Nordisk will work very closely with the sickle cell community. They are excited to collaborate with Novo Nordisk to improve innovation, accessibility, and care quality for patients while acting as a dependable partner for their communities.