Little reMYND Forges 350M+ Euros Tie-Up With Drug Giant Novo Nordisk
By Alex Keown
Novo Nordisk struck a deal worth up to €350 million (about $413 million) to develop the reMYND drug. reMYND’s investigational ReS39 sustains and increases the endogenous insulin production capacity of the pancreas by restoring beta-cell function and insulin signaling in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes animal models, the company said.
“Even though symptomatic treatments work well, diabetes patients would greatly benefit from restoring durably their endogenous insulin production and/or increasing insulin sensitivity. Novo Nordisk’s agility to step-in once they observed the effects of our ReS39 treatment in their own hands makes the road ahead all the more exciting,” Koen De Witte, managing director of reMYND, said in a statement.
In its Nov. 1 quarterly call, Novo Nordisk Chief Executive Officer Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said sales of diabetes drugs Tresiba and Victoza grew 118 percent and 15 percent, respectively in the United States. Novo Nordisk, like other companies that have significant diabetes franchises, is under pricing pressure in the United States for its treatments. The company will soon be fielding another diabetes drug in the U.S. Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Ozempic (semaglutide), , a long-acting GLP-1 analogue. Analysts have predicted that semaglutide could generate more than $3 billion in revenue by 2023.
In addition to treating both kinds of diabetes, reMYND said ReS39 also holds promise for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) due to its ability to reduce liver weight and triglyceride content. NASH is expected to soon become the most common cause of advanced liver disorders. It is caused by the buildup of fat in the liver, which can lead to liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. NASH is highly prevalent amongst patients with type 2 Diabetes.
The market for NASH is expected to hit about $40 billion, but it is a growing market. Multiple companies, including Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Boehringer Ingelheim have been striking deals for NASH treatments in recent months.
reMYND was founded in 2002 as a spinout of from the University of Leuven. The company is focused on the development of disease-modifying treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Diabetes and other “orphan protein misfolding disorders.” The company’s most advanced program is ReS19-T, an Alzheimer’s treatment. The therapy restores calcium dyshomeostasis in Alzheimer’s patients. That restoration is central in the disease cascade leading to neuronal demise and built-up of plaques and tangles, the company said.