--Focus Will Be on Disease-Modifying Immunotherapies for Type 1 Diabetes--
NEW YORK and COPENHAGEN, Denmark, June 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To 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 and biotechnology companies, as well as from internal research projects at Novo Nordisk.
"JDRF is deeply committed to developing immunotherapies, and especially auto antigen-specific immunotherapies for the prevention and cure of type 1 diabetes," said Dr. Richard Insel, JDRF's chief scientific officer. "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 Research and Development (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 T1D.
"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 JDRF," said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer at Novo Nordisk. "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.
JDRF is the leading global organization 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 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education.
For more information, please visit www.jdrf.org.
About Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 88 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also has leading positions within hemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 32,500 employees in 74 countries, and markets its products in 179 countries.
For more information, please visit www.novonordisk.com.