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Recent Novartis Acquisition Highlights Need for Better Tech for Drug Targeting Outside Liver

Category: M&A

Opportunity: Need for better tech to delivery drugs outside liver & value to big pharma

Company: Novartis & DTx Pharma

Product/Asset: targeted siRNA therapies

Latest trigger event for Opp: July 17, 2023 press release

Target Companies: Any company with drug targeting tech; biopharma, biotech/vendor


On July 17, 2023, Novartis announced that it had acquired DTx Pharma for $500M up-front + milestones. DTx Pharma was a preclinical biotech company focused on siRNA (small, interfering RNA) therapies for neuroscience indications, using its fatty acid ligand-conjugated oligonucleotide (FALCON) platform. Some of the assets Novartis will be gaining include DTx-1252, a potential therapy for the neuromuscular disorder Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A (CMT1A), and two additional preclinical programs for other neuroscience indications.

According Novartis press release, one of the biggest problems facing drug delivery outside of the liver, is getting the drug to the correct location within the body. DTx’s technology is designed to overcome this issue by binding siRNAs to naturally occuring fatty acids that then help deliver the drug to the correct cells. The president of Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Fiona Marshall, said she is “excited to bring DTx’s FALCON technology to Novartis and explore its potential to deliver drugs to extrahepatic tissues”. This acquisition reflects Novartis’s commitment to neuroscience, one of the company’s five core therapeutic areas.

About Novartis:

Company Type: Public Company

Market Cap (7/18/23): $235,030,000,000

Location: Basel, Switzerland

Latest stage asset: Approved and late-stage assets

Indications: Cardiovascular, Immunology, Neuroscience, Solid tumors, Hematology

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Article History:

Originally posted 7/19/23 (RB)


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