Novo Nordisk to develop EpiDestiny’s sickle cell disease programme

MaxCyte and NIH to develop therapies for sickle cell disease
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Romaset

Denmark’s Novo Nordisk has picked up an exclusive worldwide licence to EpiDestiny’s sickle cell disease (SCD) programme – EPI01.

EpiDestiny is eligible to receive more than $400 million in upfront, development and sales milestone payments and will get royalties on net sales.

The two companies will collaborate to develop EPI01 in SCD and beta-thalassaemia. EpiDestiny retains all rights to continue development of EPI01 in oncology.

Increasing levels of foetal haemoglobin (HbF) have important clinical benefits in SCD and beta-thalassaemia patients. Elevated HbF correlated with increased red blood cell half-life, reduced number of pain crises and increased life expectancy.

EPI01 is a novel, orally available, disease-modifying therapy to increase HbF and interrupt SCD pathophysiology.

EpiDestiny recently completed a phase 1 trial with EPI01 in SCD patients demonstrating increased HbF expression and safety after eight weeks of administration in a small patient cohort.

The clinical observations demonstrated the potential for EPI01 to serve as a safe and highly meaningful disease-modifying therapy for SCD.