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U of Bristol start-up gets $800M in Novo Nordisk acquisition for its next-generation insulin tech

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 29th, 2018

Insulin manufacturer Novo Nordisk is set to acquire a University of Bristol biotech start-up for up to £623 million (over $802M US).

Ziylo is developing glucose-binding molecules to create insulins that can adapt to blood glucose levels. The technology could eliminate the risk of hypoglycemia and lead to safer, more effective insulins for patients with diabetes.

Under the terms of the deal, Novo Nordisk would acquire all shares in Ziylo for an upfront payment, in addition to payments made upon the achievement of certain development, regulatory and sales milestones.

“Novo Nordisk, as the leader in the diabetes field, is the ideal company to maximize 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,” says Harry Destrecroix, researcher at the University of Bristol and co-founder of Ziylo.

“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,” says Marcus Schindler, senior vice president of global drug discovery at Novo Nordisk.


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