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Novo Nordisk's Parent Foundation Acquires Catalent to Boost Obesity and Diabetes Drug Production

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Ayanna Amadi
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Novo Nordisk's Parent Foundation Acquires Catalent to Boost Obesity and Diabetes Drug Production

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In a significant move to address the high demand for obesity and diabetes medicines, Novo Nordisk's parent foundation is acquiring Catalent, a contract development and manufacturing company, in a $16.5 billion deal. Meanwhile, Amgen is testing a unique strategy with its obesity drug candidate, MariTide, to potentially provide longer-lasting weight loss compared to existing drugs on the market.

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Novo Nordisk's Acquisition of Catalent

Novo Nordisk has agreed to acquire three fill finish sites from Novo Holdings A S in connection with the acquisition of Catalent Inc. The acquisition is expected to increase Novo Nordisk's filling capacity from 2026 onwards. These manufacturing sites, specialized in the sterile filling of drugs, are located in Italy, Belgium, and the US. Novo Nordisk will pay an upfront payment of 11 billion USD for the acquisition. Despite a low single-digit negative impact on operating profit growth in both 2024 and 2025, Novo Nordisk will continue to honor all customer obligations at the three Catalent sites. The acquisition is expected to be completed towards the end of 2024, pending approvals by Catalent shareholders and regulatory authorities.

Novo Holdings' Role in the Acquisition

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Novo Holdings, the investment arm of Novo Nordisk’s parent foundation, has entered into a merger agreement to acquire Catalent Inc in an all-cash transaction that values Catalent at 16.5 billion on an enterprise value basis. The purchase price represents a premium of 47.5% to the 60-day volume-weighted average price as of February 2, 2024. Novo Holdings intends to sell three Catalent fill finish sites and related assets acquired in the merger to Novo Nordisk shortly after the closing of the merger. The merger is expected to close towards the end of calendar year 2024, subject to customary closing conditions including approval by Catalent stockholders and receipt of required regulatory approvals.

Boosting the Supply of Wegovy

The motive behind the acquisition of Catalent is to boost the supply of Novo Nordisk's weight-loss drug, Wegovy. Novo Holdings, being the controlling shareholder of Novo Nordisk A/S and Novonesis A/S, manages an investment portfolio with a long-term return perspective. After the closing of the merger, shares of Catalent will no longer trade on the New York Stock Exchange and Catalent will become a private company.

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Amgen's Unique Strategy

While Novo Nordisk is expanding its production capacity, Amgen is testing an innovative strategy with its obesity drug candidate, MariTide. The drug is designed to be taken monthly, which contrasts with the weekly dosing of other popular obesity drugs. The unique strategy aims to wean patients toward lower or less frequent doses over time, potentially providing longer-lasting weight loss compared to existing drugs on the market.

As the fight against obesity and diabetes continues, these strategic moves by Novo Nordisk and Amgen highlight the ongoing efforts to provide better and more effective treatments for patients around the world.

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