- The Novo Nordisk Foundation is giving 182.7 million Danish krone ($27 million) to an international partnership between North Carolina State University and the Technical University of Denmark to develop a research and education program in biopharmaceutical manufacturing.
- The five-year program will include nine research projects, as well as eight courses that will be completed by 1,300 specialists from the two universities.
- The foundation said the new biopharma manufacturing processes and skills being developed as part of the collaboration will "optimize bioindustrial production and accelerate the green transformation."
The grant is the biggest the Novo foundation has given outside the Nordic states. The two institutions were selected because the Danish university has expertise in traditional biotechnology fermentation technologies and upstream processes while NC State is stronger in the later stages of manufacturing biotechnology products.
The program will enable exchanges between the two universities to develop research projects and common course materials that the foundation and universities hope will foster greater expertise in biopharma manufacturing on both sides of the Atlantic.
Novo's foundation said 600 specialists from NC State and 700 from the Technical University of Denmark will complete the program.
The collaboration is similar to that of the Center for Structured Organic Particulate Systems, which combines work at Rutgers University, Purdue University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the University of Puerto Rico to improve biopharma manufacturing processes.
This is the third manufacturing related grant given by the Novo foundation in three years. In 2018 it gave 187 million Danish krone to the Danish university to educate up to 26 students a year in fermentation, a year after it gave the institution 118 million Danish krone to build a fermentation plant.
The Novo foundation gave a total of 1.3 billion Danish krone in 2017, an amount it expects could rise to 5 billion in 2023.
The grant expands Novo's footprint in North Carolina. Novo Nordisk, the pharma company of which the foundation is a major shareholder, recently added manufacturing capacity there by buying a Purdue Pharma manufacturing facility to beef up its tablet production in advance of the launch of oral semaglutide.