Novo Nordisk is bringing two privately-held US biotechs under its wing to expand its reach in diabetes and obesity and gain a stronger foothold in the country.

The Danish drugmaker said it is acquiring Indiana-based Calibrium LLC and MB2 LLC, both of which are relatively fresh on the scene and working on drug targets for diabetes and metabolic diseases.

Calibrium is focused on novel peptides and MB2 LLC on first-in-class, mixed agonist drugs. “I’m optimistic that together we can create novel, transformative therapies in the fight against the global epidemic of diabetes and obesity,” said Richard DiMarchi, chief scientific officer and co-founder of both Calibrium and MB2, commenting on the deal.

The closing of the transaction, which is subject to US regulatory approval, is expected during the third quarter of 2015. Financial details are being kept under wraps.

$2bn investment

The news came just a day after Novo announced plans to invest $2 billion over the next five years in ramping up production in Denmark and the US, to meet global demand for its medicines.

Close to 700 new production and engineering jobs will be generated in Clayton, North Carolina, where the firm already employs more than 700 people, while a new production facility in Måløv, Denmark, for tableting and packaging of oral semaglutide and future oral products, will create around 100 new positions.