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Novo Nordisk and JDRF in type 1 diabetes research collaboration

Will be based at newly launched R&D centre in Seattle

Novo Nordisk diabetes research centre Seattle

Danish pharma firm Novo Nordisk is to partner with the not-for-profit organisation JDRF to research novel medicines to both prevent and treat type 1 diabetes.

According to Novo, research will address to the underlying autoimmune process behind the condition in the hope of discovering immunotherapies.

Based at Novo's recently opened type 1 diabetes R&D centre in Seattle, US, the two organisations will utilise research originating from a variety of sources, including academia, biotech and Novo's own internal research projects.

Leading research at the centre will be Dr Matthias von Herrath, who will oversee 20 immunotherapy researchers, focused on the use of translational research methods to rapidly move early-stage discovery projects in immunotherapy from animal models into small clinical exploratory trials patients with type 1 diabetes.

“It is not a coincidence that we are opening our new type 1 diabetes R&D centre in Seattle at that same time that we announce a scientific partnership between our company and JDRF," said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer at Novo Nordisk.

"Our new R&D centre 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.”

Dr Richard Insel, JDRF's chief scientific officer, backed the partnership ethos of Thomsen.

He said: "JDRF is deeply committed to developing immunotherapies, and especially auto antigen-specific immunotherapies for the prevention and cure of type 1 diabetes.

"This collaboration with Novo Nordisk affords an exciting opportunity to accelerate the timeframe when these therapies may prove to make an impact in type 1 diabetes."

The JDRF also has ongoing research projects into type 1 diabetes with Roche and Eli Lilly & Company.

14th June 2012

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