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GEN News Highlights : Jun 14, 2012

JDRF, Novo Nordisk Ink Type 1 Diabetes Partnership as Firm Opens Seattle R&D Center

Collaboration aims to speed immunotherapy candidates into exploratory human trials.

JDRF and Novo Nordisk established a collaboration focused on the discovery and development of immunotherapies for the prevention and treatment of type 1 diabetes (T1D). The partnership will operate out of Novo Nordisk’s newly opened Type 1 Diabetes R&D Center in Seattle, where immunotherpy researchers are working in collaboration with scientists at the firm’s R&D facilities in Princeton and Denmark.

The new center aims to leverage the combined expertise to move early-stage discovery projects through evaluation in animal models into small-scale exploratory human trials. The Novo Nordisk-JDRF partnership will build on research originating from academia, industry, and Novo Nordisk’s internal R&D.

“It is no coincidence that we are opening our new Type 1 Diabetes Research and Development Center in Seattle at the same time that we announce a scientific partnership between our company and the JDRF,” comments Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, evp and CSO at Novo Nordisk. “Our new R&D Center is founded on the principle of reaching out to academia, biotechnology companies, and other key players in the international immunotherapy research community in order to join forces to develop the next treatment advance in the management of type 1 diabetes.”

Novo Nordisk reported diabetes product sales of DKK 50,425 million in 2011, up 10.3% from the year before. Sales of the type 2 diabetes drug Victoza® (liraglutide [rDNA origin] injection) were up 158.6%, at DKK 5,991 million, while sales of modern insulins now account for 72% of annual insulin sales.