diabetes moleculesInternational research company Novo Nordisk is investing £115 million in a new research centre at the University of Oxford, as part of a new type 2 diabetes research collaboration with the University.

The partnership will enable scientists from Novo Nordisk and the University of Oxford to collaborate to discover innovative approaches for treating type 2 diabetes. 

As part of this, Novo Nordisk is investing in a new research centre on the premises of the University of Oxford. The Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford will employ up to 100 Novo Nordisk researchers and the company’s total investment is expected to be around 1 billion Danish kroner (£115 million) over 10 years. The centre will focus on innovation within early stage research that has potential to substantially impact future treatment of type 2 diabetes and its complications.

Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Chief Science Officer and Executive Vice President of Novo Nordisk, said “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.”

The collaboration will seek to encourage cross-fertilisation of ideas between academic researchers from the University of Oxford and researchers employed by Novo Nordisk with funds to sponsor the collaborative research.

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.”

Professor James D. Johnson PhD has been appointed head of the Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford. He is a world-renowned researcher in the fundamental biology of pancreatic islets, insulin action, diabetes and related conditions. Dr Johnson is currently Professor at the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences and the Department of Surgery at the University of British Columbia.

Novo Nordisk and University of Oxford have collaborated since 2013 through the International Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme. The programme was extended in 2015 and will include up to 32 fellows.