Novo Nordisk has signed an agreement to acquire rights for US-based Strongbridge Biopharma’s Macrilen (macimorelin) in the US and Canada for an upfront payment of $145m.

The deal is expected to boost Novo Nordisk’s biopharm business.

Macrilen is an oral, growth hormone secretagogue receptor agonist indicated for the diagnosis of adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD). It secured orphan drug designation and approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Under the terms of the agreement, Strongbridge is also eligible for tiered royalties on Macrilen sales until 2027.

In addition, Strongbridge agreed to continue promoting Macrilen in the US through its current rare endocrine commercial field organisation under a three-year agreement with Novo Nordisk.

The Danish pharmaceutical firm will support Strongbridge’s team in the commercialisation of the product.

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Through a fast and deeper launch of Macrilen, Novo Nordisk intends to address a significant unmet medical need for diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency.

“The acquisition of Macrilen is in line with the strategy for our biopharm business with growth being driven by both organic and bolt-on initiatives.”

Novo Nordisk Biopharm executive vice-president and head Jesper Brandgaard said: “The acquisition of Macrilen is in line with the strategy for our biopharm business with growth being driven by both organic and bolt-on initiatives.

“Macrilen is highly complementary to Norditropin and will allow Novo Nordisk to assist physicians and patients in the diagnosis as well as treatment of patients with growth hormone deficiency.”

As part of the deal, Novo Nordisk will acquire 5,242,000 newly issued Strongbridge shares at a purchase price of $7 per share, with an investment of about $37m.

The acquisition is subject to US regulatory approval and expected to close in December this year.

In August this year, Novo Nordisk acquired UK-based biotechnology firm Ziylo under a potential deal valued at more than $800m.