Novo Nordisk Inks $700 Million Deal with Ventus Therapeutics

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Novo Nordisk will pay up to $700 million for the exclusive rights to develop and commercialize candidates from Ventus Therapeutics NLRP3 inhibitor portfolio.

Novo Nordisk and Ventus Therapeutics, a biotherapeutics company focusing on small-molecule formulations, announced an exclusive licensing agreement on Sept. 29, 2022. Novo Nordisk will pay up to approximately $700 million for exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize candidates from Ventus’ portfolio of peripherally-restricted NOD-, LRR- and pyrin domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inhibitors.

According to a company press release, Novo Nordisk will pay Ventus $70 million upfront, as well as supply funding for research and development. Ventus will also be eligible for an additional $633 million that is contingent on achieving various clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones, as well as tiered royalty fees.

NLRP3 is integral in the formation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, a multiprotein complex that regulates the innate immune system. Inflammasomes are involved in intracellular surveillance of danger signals that trigger an intense inflammatory response; therapeutic inhibition of NLRP3 can, therefore, prevent the formation of this inflammasome, thus inhibiting the inflammatory response.

Ventus’ lead NLRP3 inhibitor program is indicated for various diseases, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), chronic kidney disease, and other cardiometabolic conditions. Per the terms of the agreement, Ventus retains the right to develop NLRP3 inhibitors for certain systemic diseases, including specific inflammatory and respiratory diseases, as well as worldwide rights to the company’s brain-penetrant NLRP3 inhibitor program.


“NLRP3 is a biologically relevant target with significant potential across a number of liver, kidney, and cardiometabolic diseases,” said Karin Conde-Knape, senior vice-president, Global Drug Discovery, Novo Nordisk, in the release. “Ventus has developed a highly differentiated NLRP3 inhibitor program with best-in-class properties and compelling pre-clinical results. We are excited to partner with Ventus to advance this program to provide meaningful clinical benefit to patients within a broad range of diseases.”

“This is an important collaboration for Ventus that validates our structural biology capabilities to discover and develop highly differentiated molecules with novel chemical structures,” said Marcelo Bigal, president and CEO, Ventus Therapeutics, in the release. “We believe Novo Nordisk is the ideal partner to advance our lead NLRP3 program in a broad range of systemic disease areas in which they have deep expertise, such as cardiometabolic diseases.”

Source: Ventus Therapeutics