Novo Nordisk establishes type 1 diabetes R&D center in Seattle

Novo NordiskNovo Nordisk will establish a type 1 diabetes R&D center in Seattle, US. The new center will combine Novo Nordisk's history of innovation and leadership in diabetes treatment with the company's growing expertise in immunotherapy.

The unique concept behind the new center is to pursue a translational research approach characterised by combining basic research and early proof-of-concept trials under one umbrella. This will give the new center the necessary scientific foundation to move early-stage discovery projects rapidly from animal models into small clinical exploratory trials in type 1 diabetes.

In the past decade, type 2 diabetes has been the main focus among diabetes researchers and pharmaceutical companies because of the dramatic rise in the number of people living with the disease. Type 1 diabetes is a different disease that requires life-saving treatment with insulin. Unfortunately, there has been a lack of major scientific progress in this area in recent years.

"Novo Nordisk has been passionate about helping people fight diabetes since the company was founded, and it is our mission to take type 1 diabetes research to the next level. With the new type 1 diabetes R&D center, we hope to accelerate the process of finding new, innovative ways of treating people with this disease. Our vision is to prevent, treat and ultimately cure diabetes," says Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer at Novo Nordisk.

Matthias von Herrath, MD, has accepted the position as head of the new diabetes research centre. He is a world-renowned researcher in auto-immune diseases and he received the American Diabetes Association Outstanding Achievement Award in 2008.

"My dream has always been to see some of the treatments that my and other research teams have tested in animal models translated into better treatments for type 1 diabetes. As head of the research center, I hope to pursue this dream, while also forging new public–private collaborations within this field," says Matthias von Herrath.

Matthias von Herrath currently holds the position as director of the Center for Type 1 Diabetes Research at La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. He has been with the institute since 2001 and will continue to hold a part-time faculty position there. Dr von Herrath also serves as president of both the Immunology of Diabetes Society (IDS) and the Clinical Immunology Society (CIS).

The Novo Nordisk Type 1 Diabetes R&D Center is planned to open this summer with about 20 researchers supported by corporate functions in US and Denmark. The new centre will be located on the same premises as the Novo Nordisk Inflammation Research Center in Seattle in order to foster natural research synergies between the two sites.

Globally, about 6,000 employees worldwide are involved in research and development activities in Novo Nordisk. Novo Nordisk has research facilities in Måløv (Denmark), Beijing and Seattle.

About diabetes
There are two kinds of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. In International Diabetes Federation’s 5th edition of the Diabetes Atlas it is estimated that 366 million people were living with diabetes in 2011. Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5–10% of the total worldwide population with diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is sometimes called insulin-dependent, immune-mediated or juvenile-onset diabetes. It is caused by an auto-immune reaction where the body’s defence system attacks its own insulin-producing cells. The reason why this occurs is not fully understood. People with type 1 diabetes produce very little or no insulin. The disease can affect people of any age, but usually occurs in children or young adults. People with this form of diabetes need injections of insulin every day in order to control the levels of glucose in their blood. If people with type 1 diabetes do not have access to insulin, they will die.

Most Popular Now

Most popular vitamin and mineral supplements provi…

The most commonly consumed vitamin and mineral supplements provide no consistent health benefit or harm, suggests a new study led by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital...

Tiny particles could help fight brain cancer

Glioblastoma multiforme, a type of brain tumor, is one of the most difficult-to-treat cancers. Only a handful of drugs are approved to treat glioblastoma, and the median ...

New approach to immunotherapy leads to complete re…

A novel approach to immunotherapy developed by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has led to the complete regression of breast cancer in a patient who was...

Amgen Foundation and Harvard team up to offer free…

The Amgen Foundation and Harvard University today announced plans to launch a free online science education platform uniquely designed to level the playing field for aspi...

The Pfizer Foundation announces $5 million in gran…

The Pfizer Foundation announced a new $5 million grant commitment to initiatives in low- and middle-income countries that provide family planning access and education for...

What would help or hinder patient participation in…

As clinical trials gear up with the aim of attaining the first FDA-approved treatments for mitochondrial disease, a new study reports for the first time what patients and...

New drugs could also be deployed against lung and …

A new anti-cancer drug may be effective against a wider range of cancers than previously thought. Using a mouse model and samples taken from cancer patients, a team from ...

Update on Phase III clinical trials of lanabecesta…

AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) are discontinuing the global Phase III clinical trials of lanabecestat, an oral beta secretase cleaving enzyme (BACE) inhibi...

Pfizer to expand venture investing with $600 milli…

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) today announced it plans to invest $600 million in biotechnology and other emerging growth companies through Pfizer Ventures, the company’s venture...

Soy lecithin NSAID combo drug protects against can…

When scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) applied a chemical found in soybeans to a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSA...

Novartis receives positive CHMP opinion for Aimovi…

Novartis announced the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended approval for Aimovig® (erenumab) for t...

FDA takes action against 53 websites marketing una…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced that it has warned nine online networks, operating a total of 53 websites, that they must stop illegally marketing p...