Novo Nordisk pens $745M biobucks pact with Dewpoint to tackle insulin resistance, diabetes complications

Novo Nordisk and Dewpoint Therapeutics are partnering up in efforts to treat insulin resistance and diabetic complications, with the Danish Big Pharma offering up the possibility of $745 million in biobucks.

The partnership aims to identify drug candidates using Dewpoint's discovery platform and is the first biomolecular condensates research deal to be made in the insulin and diabetes space.

Under the terms of the deal, Boston-based biotech Dewpoint will bank $55 million in near-term payments, which covers an upfront fee, research money and possible milestones for two programs. The biotech also has the chance to make up to $690 million in further potential clinical and commercial milestones, as well as royalties, for two products. Novo Nordisk could also choose to explore other modalities for the programs, in which case Dewpoint could receive up to $107.5 million in milestones per asset.

Dewpoint, a 2019 Fierce 15 winner, aims to discover new drugs through biomolecular condensates, which are liquidlike droplets comprising proteins and RNA. The dysregulation of such condensates has been observed in many diseases, including diabetes, which is why Dewpoint believes these organelles can help drug historically “undruggable” targets.

The Novo Nordisk agreement aims to discover potential small molecule drugs against new condensate targets that may be involved in insulin resistance, which is a main driver of Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. The Big Pharma could also choose to discover non-small molecule drugs with identified condensates using internal capabilities.

"We believe that by discovering and hopefully reversing the dysregulation of biomolecular condensates that leads to insulin resistance, we have the potential to profoundly impact the development and clinical course of diabetes, one of the most profound global health challenges affecting society today," Dewpoint CEO Ameet Nathwani, M.D., said in the release.

Dewpoint uses its platform to target a myriad of other conditions related to condensates, snagging collaborations with several other major players including Bayer, Merck &. Co and Pfizer.