Novo Nordisk, Emisphere enter insulin deal

PRINCETON, N.J. — A biopharmaceutical company exclusively will develop and commercialize oral formulations of a drug maker's insulins.

Emisphere will be paid $57.5 million in potential product development and sales milestone payments by Novo Nordisk — of which $5 million dollars will be payable upon signing — as well as royalties on sales. Further financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

The announcement marks the second deal between the two companies. The first, which gave way to oral formulations development of GLP-1 receptor agonists, was inked in 2008.

"This is an encouraging agreement on a promising technology for oral administration of proteins. We are delighted to continue working with Emisphere and their Eligen technology. It fits very well with Novo Nordisk's strategy within diabetes research," said Peter Kurtzhals, SVP diabetes research unit at Novo Nordisk.