JDRF and Novo Nordisk establish R&D collaboration in type 1 diabetes

Novo NordiskTo address the underlying autoimmune process that is central to type 1 diabetes (T1D), JDRF and Novo Nordisk are partnering to discover and develop novel immunotherapies to prevent, treat, and help cure the disease. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys the glucose-responsive, insulin-secreting beta cells of the pancreas, resulting in a lifetime requirement of insulin replacement therapy.

The collaboration between JDRF and Novo Nordisk will focus on research originating from academia, biotechnology companies and from internal research projects at Novo Nordisk.

Dr Richard Insel, JDRF's chief scientific officer, said, "JDRF is deeply committed to developing immunotherapies and especially auto antigen-specific immunotherapies for 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 collaboration with Novo Nordisk will be run out of the company's newly opened Type 1 Diabetes R&D Center in Seattle. The Center, led by Dr Matthias von Herrath plans to employ 20 immunotherapy researchers working in Seattle supported by corporate R&D functions in Princeton, NJ and Denmark. The Center's goal is to use translational research methods to rapidly move early-stage discovery projects in immunotherapy from animal models into small clinical exploratory trials in type 1 diabetes.

"It is not a coincidence that we are opening our new Type 1 Diabetes Research and Development Center in Seattle at that same time that we announce a scientific partnership between our company and the JDRF. 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. At Novo Nordisk, our vision is to prevent, treat and ultimately cure diabetes, and every collaboration down that path brings us closer to that goal," says Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer at Novo Nordisk.

About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organisation focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The goal of JDRF research is to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal. Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.6 billion to diabetes research. Past JDRF efforts have helped to significantly advance the care of people with this disease, and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered. More than 80% of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education.

About Novo Nordisk
Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 89 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also has leading positions within haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy.

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