Dublin-based Prothena to sell drug to Novo Nordisk in $1.2bn deal

Drugmaker, which spun out of Elan is selling PRX004 so it can focus on other therapies

Prothena spun out of Irish drugmaker Elan in 2012. Photograph: Istock

Prothena spun out of Irish drugmaker Elan in 2012. Photograph: Istock


Dublin-headquartered drug developer Prothena has agreed to sell its experimental heart therapy PRX004 in a deal worth up to $1.2 billion (€ 1.02 billion).

Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk is to acquire the drug and intends to develop it for ATTR cadiomyopathy, a rare, progressive and fatal genetic disease that affects the heart, nerves and other organs.

Under the agreement, Prothena is to receive $100 million in up-front and near-term clinical milestone payments for the therapy, which is currently in a mid-stage trial.

Prothena, which was spun out of Irish drugmaker Elan in 2012, specialises in developing immune system-based drugs to fight progressive diseases. The company has expertise in protein dysregulation and a pipeline of novel investigational therapeutics for rare peripheral amyloid and neurodegenerative diseases.

“With Novo Nordisk’s commitment to further develop PRX004 in ATTR cardiomyopathy, Prothena will continue to focus on our mission to advance our robust portfolio designed to address rare peripheral amyloid and neurodegenerative diseases,” said Hideki Garren, chief medical officer.

Public offering

Prothena last year raised $67.8 million through a public offering to fund work on products under development.

“With its innovative amyloid-depleting mechanism, PRX004 has the potential to offer a novel treatment option for ATTR cardiomyopathy – an often fatal disease with significant unmet medical need,” said Marcus Schindler, chief scientific officer, EVP research and early development at Novo Nordisk.

“This acquisition is a testament to Prothena’s pioneering work in ATTR amyloidosis and Novo Nordisk’s dedication to advancing new disease-modifying therapies for the benefit of people with cardiovascular diseases which are the world’s leading cause of death,” he added.