Novo Nordisk to invest €235 million in EraCal

Under their new collaboration and licence agreement, Novo Nordisk has obtained exclusive rights to develop and commercialize EraCal’s oral-active anti-obesity drug, a first-in-class appetite suppressor. In return, the Swiss startup is eligible for up to €235 million in payments. With its own weight-loss drug Wegovy, Novo Nordisk has become the most valuable company in Europe in 2023.

Founded as a spin-off of the University of Zurich and Harvard University, EraCal Therapeutics develops first-in-class drugs to fight obesity. Based on its phenotypic drug discovery technology platform, the company has created an oral, small-molecule program targeting a novel action mechanism controlling appetite and body weight to treat obesity.

Building on their research collaboration formed in 2022, EraCal has today announced that it has entered into a further collaboration and license agreement with Novo Nordisk A/S to develop and commercialize this program.

“This is an important agreement for EraCal as it showcases the team’s capabilities to identify new mechanisms of action and to discover and develop small molecules to target these biological pathways,” said Josua Jordi, CEO of EraCal. “We consider Novo Nordisk the ideal partner to bring this program to patients and are excited to join forces to lead innovation.”

As part of the agreement, Novo Nordisk will obtain the exclusive rights to develop and commercialize the program, while EraCal is eligible to receive upfront, development, and commercial milestones of up to 235 million EURO and further royalties on sales of a marketed product.

“EraCal Therapeutics brings a unique drug discovery approach for obesity and other metabolic diseases,” said Dr. Bei Zhang, CVP and therapeutic area head of diabetes, obesity, and MASH at Novo Nordisk. “We look forward to working with the EraCal team to realize the value of their platform and discover innovative medicines for people living with obesity.”

Ann Clare Kessler, chairman of EraCal Therapeutics, said, “Novo Nordisk is the perfect partner to assess EraCal’s molecules that we believe have a unique mechanism for body weight control. It is a credit to the EraCal team led by the CEO, Josua Jordi, and COO, Simon Breitler to have Novo Nordisk develop these molecules for metabolic diseases, especially obesity.”

(Press release/RAN)