Novo Nordisk increases the pressure on biopharma company Ablynx
Resisting a potential takeover, Novo Nordisk is refusing to back down in its efforts to acquire biotech company Ablynx for up to $3 billion.
Presently the largest insulin manufacturer worldwide, Novo Nordisk aims to diversify its portfolio through a number of mergers and acquisitions, but has so far been unable to strike a deal to take over the biopharma giant. With the interest in the diabetes market gaining momentum in the US, the company is facing increased competition which could limit future growth.
After two failed takeover bids or even the chance to discuss the subject openly, Novo Nordisk has now taken its $3.1 billion takeover offer public, in order to ramp up the pressure for the company to engage in an open discussion surrounding a potential acquisition.
However, Ablynx has yet again shut the company down. Completing its $200 million US IPO in October, the company is aware of its future growth and ability to compete in the growing haematology market.
- Fitbit diversifies into the glucose tracking market in new investment
- The US 2.3% medical devices tax is reinstated, impacting the medical manufacturing industry
- Emirates Healthcare Group has entered into a new partnership with Alameda Healthcare Group
Responding to Novo Nordisk’s offer, the board at Ablynx have stated: “the proposal fundamentally undervalues Ablynx and its strong prospects for continued growth.” The decision has also led to a jump in Ablynx’s shares and a decrease in Novo Nordisk’s.
Now that news of the potential acquisition has been made public, it is a certainty that Novo Nordisk will not become the only ones looking to acquire part or the entirety of Ablynx’s portfolio.
The company’s work within haematology and drug caplacizumab, used to treat rare blood clotting disorders, such as acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP), has led to a number of partnerships, such as Ablynx’s work with Sanofi, who could become a contender for a merger.
Nonetheless, both Ablynx and Novo Nordisk have been collaborating within its research and development capabilities for a number of years, highlighting that a future merger or acquisition remains open for discussion.
Dexcom: changing the lives of people with type 1 diabetes
It is estimated that 9.3% of adults around the world are living with type 1 diabetes, which amounts to a total of 463 million people. A further 1.1 million children and adolescents under the age of 20 are living with the condition.
Unlike the more prevalent type 2 diabetes, where the body still produces insulin and symptoms develop slowly, people with type 1 diabetes need regular insulin injections or pumps, and must monitor their sugar levels frequently.
In recent years a number of remote glucose monitoring systems have become available that patients can use at home. These work with a sensor, usually placed under the skin, that measures glucose levels every few minutes. This information is then transmitted wirelessly to a device like a smartphone or tablet, which can then be shared with their clinician.
British actress Nina Wadia's son Aidan, 14, has type 1 diabetes, and has been managing his condition using Dexcom, a glucose monitoring system used by patients all over the world. Here Wadia explains how Dexcom has improved their lives.
As a parent of someone with type 1 diabetes, what is your day-to-day life like?
Being able to take a breath, think and pivot constantly without getting frustrated becomes an essential mindset because sometimes it feels like each day is determined to be different from the day before. Whatever worked yesterday is going to misfire today.
Which areas of yours and Aidan’s life are most impacted by diabetes?
The one thing that you have to fight hard to reclaim is spontaneity, especially when it comes to food and exercise. It’s only when this is taken do you realise how essential each one is. You can be flexible and there are no real limits, but only in the sense that a great athlete can be flexible without limits because they’ve trained super hard to be that way. So we’ve all had to become athletes when it comes to being spontaneous.
How has Dexcom helped you and Aidan?
Dexcom has brought future science fiction to real life today. The continuous glucose monitoring system is tiny, sits discreetly on his body and gives him a ten-day breather between sensor changes, so it's goodbye finger-pricking seven times daily.
Dexcom is totally active at a grass roots level and for Diabetes Awareness has pledged to donate £2,000 if #DexcomDiabetesStories and/or #DexcomWarriorStories is shared 200 times! I’ll be sharing more on social media and would love to hear how other families are winning their fights.
Maybe most importantly Dexcom is trying to introduce a reimbursement programme for type 1 diabetes patients which will give greater access to modern, life changing hi-tech. I want to spread the word on the importance of accessing it through this campaign.
If you compared your life today with how it was before Aidan was using Dexcom, what has changed?
It's always working, which lets him take his mind off diabetes for longer stretches. It also lets me get off his back. We both receive alerts so I no longer have to pester him by asking him what his number is, and especially importantly, I don’t have to wake him at night to prick his finger if I’m worried. Dexcom gave us back our sleep!