Danish diabetes drugs firm Novo Nordisk will plough up to DKK 1 billion (approximately $144 million) into a new diabetes research center at the University of Oxford, U.K. Up to 100 Novo Nordisk scientists will be housed at the Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford, which over the next 10 years will focus on early-stage research for developing new treatments for type 2 diabetes, as well as foster and fund collaborations with academic researchers at the University.

“Our vision is that the unique combination of industrial and academic know-how will eventually lead to a new generation of treatments to improve the lives of people with type 2 diabetes”, said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Novo Nordisk CSO and evp. Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, said the collaboration underscores the importance of shared research across boundaries. “Employees at Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford and researchers at the University of Oxford will have the opportunity for daily interaction to share knowledge and insights that will potentially produce new medicines for people living with type 2 diabetes and its complications. We see the collaboration with Novo Nordisk as an outstanding opportunity to mix competence embedded at our campus with Novo Nordisk's groundbreaking research and results in diabetes.”

The Novo Nordisk Research Centre, Oxford, will be headed by James D. Johnson, Ph.D., currently a professor at the Department of Cellular and Physiologial Sciences and the Department of Surgery at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Johnson is a world-renowned authority on pancreatic biology, insulin activity, diabetes, and related conditions.

Earlier this month Novo Nordisk confirmed approval of its fast-acting insulin aspart Fiasp® in the EU and in Canada. Regulatory review in other countries, including the U.S., is ongoing. Also this month Novo Nordisk reported on a partnership with Glooko to develop digital health solutions and services for diabetes patients and clinicians. The new solutions will be integrated into the Novo Nordisk Digital Health Platform, developed with IBM Watson Health.

In September 2016, Novo Nordisk confirmed it would be cutting about 2% of its global workforce, or 1000 jobs, including R&D positions at its Danish headquarters. 

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