Novo Nordisk sticks down $1.46B in biobucks for molecular glues with California biotech

Novo Nordisk is getting sticky, coming together with Neomorph in a new licensing pact worth up to $1.46 billion across multiple molecular glue targets.

The Big Pharma has agreed to discover, develop and commercialize molecular glue degraders with California-based biotech Neomorph. In return for access to Neomorph’s proprietary glue discovery platform, Novo is giving the biotech the chance to receive upfront and near-term milestone payments, plus R&D funding and future milestone payments for a potential total of $1.46 billion, according to a Feb. 26 release.

Under the terms of the deal, Neomorph will lead discovery and preclinical activities against unnamed selected targets. Novo Nordisk will then have the option to exclusively pursue further clinical development and commercialization of the compounds.

While the therapeutic indications being pursued weren’t specifically disclosed, Neomorph’s CEO Phil Chamberlain said that the pact will expand the biotech’s platform into new areas beyond oncology.

"By combining Neomorph's proprietary glue discovery platform with Novo Nordisk's vast experience in cardiometabolic and rare diseases, we are well positioned to develop transformative treatments in these areas,” Chamberlain said.

Founded in 2020 and backed by investor Deerfield Management Company, the preclinical biotech’s mission is to discover new therapeutics that go after 'undruggable' targets.

Meanwhile, Ozempic-maker Novo Nordisk’s SVP of global research technologies Brian Vandahl said the company is expanding its drug discovery efforts with a range of novel technology platforms in hopes of developing new treatments for serious chronic diseases. The pharma joins other industry giants—namely Roche, Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck & Co. and Biogen—who have flocked to the area in recent years.