Novo Nordisk plans $145M investment in new UK research center
- Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk plans to invest £115 million (roughly $145 million) over ten years in a new research center as part of a partnership with the University of Oxford.
- The collaboration will bring scientists from Novo and the university together to accelerate early-stage research into the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
- Novo, who faces a more competitive and challenging diabetes market than in years past, expects to employ 100 company researchers at the new center.
Unlike other large drugmakers with diversified portfolios, Novo Nordisk is laser focused on diabetes. Sales of diabetes drugs and other products accounted for just a hair under 80% of Novo's sales last year, for example.
But pushback from payers on pricing, along with heightened competition from rivals Sanofi and Eli Lilly, has battered the company. Last year, Novo halved its forecast for long-term growth to 5% and announced layoffs for 1,000 employees.
Still, the company is committed to diabetes care and has high expectations for its GLP-1 agonist semaglutide.
The new collaboration with Oxford will focus on upstream research, focusing on type 2 diabetes.
"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 Novo's chief science officer Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen.
This deal builds on the existing links between Oxford University and Novo Nordisk, which work together through the International Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme, which was recently extended.
Even with the current challenges, GlobalData predicts the global type 2 diabetes market could almost double by 2025, rising from $31.2 billion in 2015 to $58.7 billion in 2025. This growth will be driven by increasing numbers of people with the condition.
- Novo Nordisk Press release
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