Novo Nordisk increases the pressure on biopharma company Ablynx

By Catherine Sturman
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...

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.

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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.

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