Novartis closed a merger agreement with The Medicines Company under which it will buy up the firm’s cholesterol drug inclisiran for $9.7 billion.
The transaction will grant Novartis ownership of the biopharma firm’s late-stage investigational drug, which “reimagines the treatment of atherosclerotic heart disease (ASCVD) and familial hypercholesterolemia (FH),” the company said.
Inclisiran could become the first and only cholesterol-lowering medication in the small-interfering RNA (siRNA) drug class. The drug uses the body’s biological RNA interference process to stop the production of the PCSK9 protein in the liver, enhancing the liver’s ability to remove low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C), or “bad” cholesterol, from the bloodstream.
The Medicines Company plans to file for FDA approval by the end of the year. It recently released data for three phase 3 trials of the cholesterol treatment that involved more than 3,600 high-risk ASCVD and FH patients. All trials showed “potent and durable” cholesterol reduction in patients.