Novo Nordisk acquires Embark Biotech and enters R&D collaboration to advance obesity treatments


Novo Nordisk, a global leader in healthcare, has acquired Embark Biotech, including its lead metabolic program, in a deal that further strengthens its portfolio in obesity and related co-morbidities treatment. Alongside the acquisition, the two companies have announced a three-year research and development (R&D) collaboration to discover and develop new pharmaceutical solutions for obesity and associated conditions like type 2 diabetes.

Under the terms of the Embark Biotech acquisition, Novo Nordisk gains full rights to develop and commercialize Embark’s lead metabolic program. Embark shareholders are set to receive an upfront payment of €15 million. Additionally, they are eligible for potential development, regulatory, and commercial milestones that could total up to €456 million.

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The R&D collaboration between Novo Nordisk and Embark Laboratories offers the healthcare giant the option to acquire selected assets stemming from Embark Biotech’s discoveries. This collaboration will focus on several indications, most notably obesity and type 2 diabetes, areas where Novo Nordisk has been active for over 25 years.

Brian Finan, Vice President of Obesity Research at Novo Nordisk, emphasized the company’s long-standing commitment to obesity research: “We are excited about the opportunity to advance Embark Biotech’s lead program and look forward to co-creating novel treatments for cardiometabolic diseases with Embark Laboratories to complement our in-house R&D.”

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Zach Gerhart-Hines, Chief Technology Officer at Embark Laboratories, highlighted the synergies between the two companies: “There is a clear strategic fit between the novel biology we have discovered and Novo Nordisk’s expertise in developing new drugs in the cardiometabolic space. This deal and Embark’s success are direct outcomes of Denmark’s unique and innovative ecosystem.”

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The acquisition and subsequent R&D collaboration come at a pivotal moment for both companies, as they seek to address the growing global health challenges posed by obesity and related diseases. This deal exemplifies Novo Nordisk’s continued commitment to innovate in the obesity treatment landscape and Embark Laboratories’ role in contributing cutting-edge metabolic research to the field.

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