Novo Nordisk is deepening its investment in cardiometabolic disease drug development, this time with a partnership with German biotech Evotec.
The companies announced Tuesday a new drug discovery accelerator dubbed LAB eN², which will incubate research from academic institutions in hopes of creating new medicines. Harvard University, Mass General Brigham, Yale University, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center are all set to work with the companies as part of the collaboration.
In addition to furthering cardiometabolic diseases research, the deal could also beget new drugs for rare blood and endocrine disorders, the companies said.
“Many great ideas are started in academia, but translational research and moving the idea to the next stage remains a challenge,” Uli Stilz, head of Novo Nordisk’s Bio Innovation Hub, said in a statement.
Researchers who work with Novo and Evotec’s accelerator can receive up to $4 million in funding per project, along with access to the companies’ drug discovery and target validation resources. Some potential programs could lead to new startups or a licensing deal from Novo, according to the lab’s website.
Novo, the maker of diabetes and weight loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy, is leading a pharmaceutical industry race to develop more powerful metabolic disease treatments. It’s inked several obesity- and diabetes-related deals in recent months, adding to the nine projects in diabetes and weight loss it has in clinical trials.
In August, it bought Embark Biotech and Inversago. And earlier this month, Novo announced a partnership with The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard aimed at advancing three potential drugs for Type 2 diabetes and cardiac fibrosis.
Last month, Jefferies analyst Peter Welford wrote in a note to clients that GLP-1 drugs like Wegovy could bring in more than $150 billion in worldwide annual sales by 2031, driven by their use in obesity.