A new research center funded by Novo Nordisk will foster collaborations between its staff and researchers from the University of Oxford.

Novo Nordisk and the University of Oxford have announced a collaboration focused on type 2 diabetes research. As part of the effort, the Danish pharma will invest €135M (£115M) over a 10-year period to open and support the activity of a new research center in the university’s biomedical campus in Headington.

The center, expected to open in 2018, will focus on innovative, early-stage research in type 2 diabetes, a disease that has reached epidemic proportions. “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, CSO of Novo Nordisk.

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James D. Johnson, Professor at the University of British Columbia and world-renowned diabetes researcher, has been appointed as head of the new Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford.

Novo Nordisk diabetes Research Centre Oxford

The projected research center

The University of Oxford is the best in the world according to this year’s Times Higher Education ranking. And Life Sciences is one of its strongest fields of research. Recently, the university attracted the successful German CRO Evotec to start a new program aiming to bridge the funding gap between academia and industry.

With this investment, Novo Nordisk seems to be aiming to solidify its position as a world leader in diabetes. Specifically, the market for type 2 diabetes is expected to hit a massive €64B as a consequence of the rising numbers of obesity, highly caloric diets and lack of exercise.

Its insulin product NovoRapid is already among the top 10 best-selling biologicals, but to keep up with the fast advancements in diabetes innovation, the company seems to be bidding for early research that could bring innovative, first-in-class solutions for the disease.


Images from Alicia Christoffel/Shutterstock, Novo Nordisk

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