Novo Nordisk expands in cardiovascular disease with $725 mln deal

COPENHAGEN, June 11 (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk has agreed to buy AstraZeneca spin-off Corvidia Therapeutics for an initial $725 million as the world’s largest diabetes drugmaker seeks to expand in cardiovascular disease.

Novo said on Thursday it would fund the deal from financial reserves and that it wouldn’t affect its full-year financial guidance or share buyback programme.

Total payments to Corvidia’s shareholders could reach $2.1 billion if certain regulatory and sales milestones are reached, it said.

Corvidia’s leading drug candidate, ziltivekimab, is in mid-stage clinical trials.

“We believe that ziltivekimab has the potential to become a first- and best-in-class treatment to lower the burden of cardiovascular disease in a patient population that is at high risk of major adverse cardiovascular events,” said Novo’s chief science officer Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen.

Novo hopes to gain a foothold in the market for drugs treating cardiovascular diseases, which are closely linked to its core therapeutic areas of diabetes and obesity. (Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Mark Potter)