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Novo Nordisk Agrees to Buy Dicerna Pharma for $3.3 Billion

Discerna Pharma shares jump after Novo Nordisk agrees to buy the company, with the deal expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.
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Shares of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals  (DRNA) - Get Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Report jumped in premarket trading Thursday after the company agreed to be acquired by Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk  (NVO) - Get Novo Nordisk A/S Report for $3.3 billion. 

The two companies have been engaged in a research collaboration since 2019 using Dicerna's ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) therapeutics to selectively silence genes that cause or contribute to disease. 

Under terms of the deal, Novo, through a subsidiary, will initiate a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Dicerna for $38.25 per share. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Dicerna shares were up 78% to $37.91 in premarket trading Thursday after ending the trading day Wednesday at $21.28. Shares of Nova were up 0.81% at $115.34 in premarket trading.

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"The acquisition of Dicerna accelerates Novo Nordisk's research within RNAi and expands the usage of the RNAi technology," said Novo chief scientific officer Marcus Schindler.

"We build on our successful collaboration and by combining Dicerna's state-of-the-art RNAi drug engine and intracellular delivery with our deep capabilities in disease biology understanding and tissue targeting."

"Since the start of our collaboration two years ago, the Dicerna and Novo Nordisk teams have established a strong rapport built on a foundation of mutual respect for one another's capabilities, culture and expertise," said Douglas Fambrough, Dicerna CEO. 

Novo says the transaction will not impact its full-year guidance but the deal is estimated to have a negative impact on operating profit growth in 2022. 

Novo Nordisk expects to initiate clinical development of the first investigational therapeutic to result from this collaboration in 2022.