Deal for development of insulin-producing cells

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Stem cells, Stem cell

The development of insulin-producing cells from human stem cells is to be advanced by a collaborative research agreement involving Novo Nordisk.

Novo are teaming up with Cellartis AB and the Lund University Stem Cell Center to develop a cell therapy for treating insulin dependent diabetes, with the long-term goal being the creation of a cure.

The agreement grants Novo exclusive rights to develop and commercialise any products the collaboration creates, which could be used in the treatment of diabetes. Cellartis will acquire the exclusive rights to certain other products developed during the research.

In addition Cellartis will receive a technology access fee and additional royalties based on achieving developmental and sales milestones. Full financial details of the deal have not been disclosed but it has been revealed that milestones could amount to more than €100m.

This would in part be generated from royalties on worldwide sales of any diabetes care product developed by the collaboration that is commercialised.

Shift in research focus

Novo and Cellartis have had a long-standing research agreement, which this latest deal builds upon to move the collaboration into new areas.

In the past the research team has focused on gathering information relating to how insulin-producing cells form during embryonic development, with the intention being to mimic this process using stem cells in culture.

The new team is now investigating how to programme stem cells to create insulin-producing beta cells for the treatment of diabetes.

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