Danish healthcare company Novo Nordisk has agreed to acquire University of Bristol spin-out company Ziylo in a deal that could exceed $800m.
Based at Unit DX science incubator in Bristol, Ziylo has been using its technology platform to develop glucose responsive insulins, an advanced treatment for diabetes patients.
Ziylo CEO and co-founder Dr Harry Destecroix said: “Novo Nordisk is the ideal company to maximise the potential of the Ziylo glucose binding molecules in glucose responsive insulins and diabetes applications, and it brings hope of a truly groundbreaking treatment to diabetes patients.”
Ziylo’s technology platform, including glucose binding molecules, is being used for therapeutic and diagnostic applications.
The deal will allow Novo Nordisk to use Ziylo’s glucose binding molecule platform for the development of glucose responsive insulins.
According to Novo Nordisk, glucose responsive insulin will help reduce the risk of hypoglycaemia, which is the main main risk associated with insulin therapy and one of the main barriers to achieve optimal glucose control.
Before closing the deal, certain research activities from Ziylo will be shifted to a new company, Carbometrics.
Carbometrics has signed research agreement with Novo Nordisk to extend support for the ongoing optimisation of glucose binding molecules for use in glucose responsive insulins.
Carbometrics is provided with rights to develop non-therapeutic applications of glucose binding molecules, specifically focusing on developing continuous glucose monitoring applications.
Ziylo’s glucose binding molecules are synthetic molecules, which were designed by Professor Anthony Davis at the University of Bristol.
The synthetic molecules are said to exhibit better selectivity to glucose in complex environments such as blood.
Novo Nordisk global drug discovery senior vice president Marcus Schindler said: “We believe the glucose binding molecules discovered by the Ziylo team together with Novo Nordisk world-class insulin capabilities have the potential to lead to the development of glucose responsive insulins which we hope can remove the risk of hypoglycaemia and ensure optimal glucose control for people with diabetes.”
With marketing activities in more than 170 countries, Novo Nordisk is engaged in providing treatment solutions for obesity, haemophilia, growth disorders and other serious chronic diseases.