Healthcare giant Novo Nordisk pursues innovation in China

By Cui Can
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, March 7, 2019
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The launch ceremony of innovation platform INNOVO is held by world top diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk in Beijing on March 6, 2019. [Photo courtesy of Novo Nordisk]

Novo Nordisk, one of the world's largest maker of diabetes drugs, announced in Beijing on Wednesday the launch of INNOVO, an innovation platform through which the company seeks to join hands with local academic institutions, bio-tech startups and incubators to accelerate the transformation of scientific research into new drugs and their improvement.

"With the platform, we hope to strengthen innovation through further collaboration. We want to share our in-house expertise with local partners to build a new ecosystem nurturing innovation together," said Lars Fogh Iversen, senior vice president of Global Research Technologies of Novo Nordisk. 

Since setting up its first China office in Beijing 25 years ago, Novo Nordisk has been steadily expanding its local presence, opening a manufacturing plant in Tianjin in 1995, and a research and development (R&D) center in Beijing in 1997, the first multinational pharmaceutical firm to take this step in China. 

According to Iversen, the R&D center was playing an important role in the company's early drug discovery, helping to strengthen its leadership in diabetes care. 

"As Beijing is intensifying its efforts to build a national sci-tech innovation center, the establishment of INNOVO will drive innovation with our strong alliances in China to achieve win-win outcomes and benefit patients," he said. 

Innovation accelerator 

Novo Nordisk Research Center in China will be in charge of running INNOVO, through which innovative forces from academic institutions to bio-tech startups and incubators will be gathered together to speed up the transformation of science and technology research into drug development and eventually offer protection from chronic diseases like diabetes. 

This platform will focus on drug discoveries related to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and chronic kidney diseases, and pursue innovation in key technological areas like protein engineering and preparations, oligonucleotide and stem-cell therapy. 

Su Jing, president of the Novo Nordisk Research Center in China, said INNOVO would serve as an innovation accelerator connecting healthcare professionals, academics, and pharmaceutical companies to support drug R&D collaboration in China, and create a global innovation model. 

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