Growing Novo Nordisk inks $100M tech deal, boasts of blockbuster hopefuls

It's been a busy couple of days for Novo Nordisk. The pharma company ($NVO) has just struck a $100 million licensing deal on new drug delivery technology as its chief scientific officer reviews potential blockbusters in the pipeline with Reuters. And that comes on top of the news that Novo is planning to launch a major expansion of its U.S. workforce as sales jumped 10% in the first quarter.

Novo's new pact is with Caisson Biotech, which boasts of a delivery tech that uses a customizable sugar polymer that is biodegradable inside cells, making it useful for "cloaking, enlarging and/or protecting drug cargo. We can customize heparosan with respect to polymer size and conjugation chemistry thus providing flexibility to enhance a variety of therapeutic proteins, peptides, delivery platforms (e.g., liposomes, viruses or nanoparticles), and small molecules," says Paul DeAngelis, the chief scientist at Caisson.

The terms of the pact, with a total value billed north of $100 million, weren't disclosed.

Novo Nordisk's Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, the chief scientific officer, tells Reuters that he's hopeful the company's experimental hemophilia drug, Vatreptacog, can go on to earn enough revenue to replace NovoSeven as that $1.48 billion-a-year drug loses sales steam. And then there's the N8-GP program for hemophilia. 

"If one is lucky enough to make a long-acting N8-GP drug which is a bit better than the competing drugs, then you could be on the way to a blockbuster market, but that is too early to predict," Thomsen tells Reuters in an interview. 

- here's the press release on the tech pact
- read the Reuters story on Novo's blockbuster potential
- get the story on the company expansion