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Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO - Analyst Report) and Emisphere Technologies, Inc. recently announced that they have modified their agreement for the development and commercialization of oral formulations of Novo Nordisk's proprietary GLP-1 receptor agonist candidates for the treatment of type II diabetes, using Emisphere's proprietary Eligentechnology.

Emisphere and Novo Nordisk’s original agreement dates back to Jun 2008. Under the modified agreement, Novo Nordisk will make a $10 million as prepayment for future development milestones. Earlier, this payment was due during the commencement of phase II and phase III testing of an oral GLP-1 candidate by Novo Nordisk.

We note that Novo Nordisk and Emisphere have another license agreement. In Dec 2010, the companies entered into an exclusive agreement to develop and commercialize oral formulations of Novo Nordisk's insulins for the treatment of diabetes with the help of the Eligen technology.

Under the deal, Novo Nordisk will make payments of $57.5 million to Emisphere on the achievement of development and sales milestones. $5 million out of $57.5 million was paid as an upfront fee. Emisphere is also entitled to royalties on sales.

Novo Nordisk has a strong presence in the diabetes care market. This segment recorded growth of 15% in 2012 with sales coming in at DKK 60.9 billion. Modern Insulins generated strong revenues(up 15%) driven by NovoRapid (up 16%) and Levemir (up 21%). 2012 results were driven by strong revenues from NovoRapid, Levemir and Victoza. Victoza witnessed sales growth of 58% in 2012.

Novo Nordisk currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Currently, companies like Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners Inc. (CPRX - Snapshot Report) and UCB (UCBJF) look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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