Novo Nordisk launches £115 million investment in UK despite Brexit

pharmafile | January 30, 2017 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Novo Nordisk, University of Oxford, brexit 

Novo Nordisk has given the UK a boost by confirming that it plans to go ahead with a £115 million investment in a new research centre, in collaboration with the University of Oxford. The research centre will focus on developing treatments for type 2 diabetes.

The £115 million investment will be spread over 10 years, investing in a new research centre on the premises of the University of Oxford. The centre will create employment for up to 100 Novo Nordisk researches, with any potential new treatments or drugs will be developed further in Denmark. Any commercial benefit from such developments will primarily go to Novo Nordisk, with a small percentage going to the University of Oxford.

“This collaboration brings together some of the world’s sharpest minds in the field of diabetes to seek new targets for therapeutic innovation. It combines Novo Nordisk’s 90 years’ experience in developing treatments for diabetes with the expertise of world leading scientists from the University of Oxford. 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 chief science officer and executive vice president of Novo Nordisk, Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen.

The threat of Brexit and its implication for research were obviously a factor in the decision but Novo Nordisk has bene keen to stress the importance of the academic background and quality of researchers from the University of Oxford. Novo Nordisk and the university have had collaborated since 2013 through the International Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme and this latest development further cements the relationship between the two.

Sir John Bell, regius professor of Medicine, University of Oxford, said: “We see the collaboration with Novo Nordisk as an outstanding opportunity to mix competence embedded at our campus with Novo Nordisk’s groundbreaking research and results in diabetes. This collaboration underlines the importance of shared research and cutting-edge science across boundaries. Employees at Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford and researchers at the University of Oxford will have the opportunity for daily interaction to share knowledge and insights that will potentially produce new medicines for people living with type 2 diabetes and its complications”.

The British government will be hoping that the draw of academic expertise continues be a pull for companies looking at investing in the UK’s life sciences sector, especially as the life sciences have become a key part of the government’s post-Brexit industrial plan for the future of the UK.

Ben Hargreaves

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