Novo Nordisk buys Ziylo in pursuit of developing glucose responsive insulins

Novo Nordisk acquired all of the shares of Ziylo under a deal that could potentially be worth more than $800 million, gaining the latter's early-stage glucose binding molecules, the companies announced Friday. Novo Nordisk noted that developing glucose responsive insulins is one of its "key strategic" areas, potentially leading to safer and more effective insulin therapy.

According to Novo Nordisk, Ziylo's glucose binding molecules "exhibit an unprecedented selectivity to glucose in complex environments such as blood." The Danish drugmaker added that a glucose responsive insulin would help eliminate the risk of hypoglycaemia, leading to better metabolic control and, in turn, an overall reduction in the burden of diabetes for people living with the condition.

"We believe the glucose binding molecules discovered by the Ziylo team together with Novo Nordisk…insulin capabilities have the potential to lead to the development of glucose responsive insulins," commented Marcus Schindler, senior vice president of global drug discovery at Novo Nordisk.

The transaction includes an upfront payment from Novo Nordisk to Ziylo, which was spun-out of the University of Bristol in 2014, as well as development, regulatory and sales milestones. Prior to the closing of the acquisition, Ziylo spun out certain research activities into a new company called Carbometrics, which will focus on non-therapeutic uses of glucose binding molecules, such as developing continuous glucose monitoring applications. Novo Nordisk noted that it entered in a research collaboration with Carbometrics to assist with ongoing optimisation of glucose binding molecules for use in glucose responsive insulins.

To read more Top Story articles, click here.