Merrion Pharmaceuticals and Novo Nordisk A/S, have entered into a Development and License Agreement to develop and commercialize oral formulations of Novo Nordisk’s proprietary Insulin analogues, using Merrion’s proprietary GIPET(r) technology. Under the agreement Merrion will receive up to US$58 million for the first product developed under the agreement to reach the market based on achievement of certain development, regulatory and sales milestones as well as royalties on sales. Under the agreement, Novo Nordisk is responsible and will pay for the development and commercialisation of the product candidates. Merrion is responsible for the development and manufacture of the initial clinical batches, with the work overseen by a joint development committee. Novo Nordisk and Merrion have collaborated since 2007 to test the utility of Merrion’s GIPET(r) technology in preclinical models. The total global insulin market is estimated to be worth around US$9bn worldwide and this partnership between Merrion and Novo Nordisk can potentially deliver a major new oral product for people with diabetes. The agreement also provides Novo Nordisk with the ability to develop additional oral formulations of Novo Nordisk insulin compounds using Merrion’s proprietary absorption enhancing GIPET(r) technology. Merrion will be due additional milestone payments for any additional products developed under the agreement. “This partnership with Novo Nordisk is important for Merrion in many ways” said John Lynch Chief Executive Officer of Merrion. “It brings Merrion’s exciting technology for the oral administration of biopharmaceuticals together with Novo Nordisk, a world leader in the field of diabetes and a leader in peptide/protein based drugs. To date our collaboration with Novo Nordisk has been very positive and productive and today’s agreement has the potential to offer significant new solutions to millions of people with diabetes worldwide, which provides a strong motivation for the Merrion team.” “We are delighted to continue working with Merrion, who have been an excellent partner, and their unique GIPET(r) technology. This programme is an important part of Novo Nordisk’s strategy within diabetes research”, said Peter Kurtzhals, Senior Vice President, Novo Nordisk’s Diabetes Research Unit.