Stem cell research
Stem cell research has raised hopes of future treatment with cell transplantation that can be offered to people with many different serious chronic diseases caused by degeneration of defined cell types, such as in the case of diabetes and Parkinson's disease. At the same time, research into human embryonic stem cells has evoked an important ethical debate based on culturally founded objections to certain types of research. Novo Nordisk pursues human stem cell research as part of Novo Nordisk’s vision to find a cure for diabetes. In doing so, Novo Nordisk takes ethical considerations into account.
See Novo Nordisk’s position on stem cells.
In 2008 Novo Nordisk continued to be at the forefront of stem cell research through the Hagedorn Research Institute, an independent basic research component of Novo Nordisk in which the company is currently investing more than 18.2 million Danish kroner in developmental biology and stem cell research.
Furthermore, in October Novo Nordisk initiated a strategic research collaboration with Cellartis (a Swedish stem cell biotech) and University of Lund to intensify research efforts into the area of cell therapy for diabetes. This extends ongoing research collaborations between Cellartis, Lund and Hagedorn.
See more on this collaboration from the press release.
Hagedorn is a major academic-industrial bridging partner in two cutting-edge international research consortia focusing on cell therapy for diabetes: The Beta Cell Biology Consortium (BCBC), funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH, USA); and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Center for Beta Cell Therapy in Diabetes in Europe, which is funded by the EU and JDRF.
Novo Nordisk’s approach
Novo Nordisk’s scientists aim to find a cure for diabetes, and in doing so, Novo Nordisk needs to perform research on stem cells including human embryonic stem cells. It will allow us to position Novo Nordisk in the forefront of future cell-therapy of diabetes.
Research in human embryonic stem cells has evoked an important ethical debate because the embryos from which the stem cells are derived hold the potential for a human life. Furthermore, large differences exist between countries with regards to the legislation and control of research on human embryonic stem cells.
Novo Nordisk acknowledges and respects that new research areas involving ethical dilemmas need to be thoroughly discussed in society. Novo Nordisk would like to contribute to an open dialogue and an ethical and political clarification regarding the use of human embryonic stem cells.
Read more about stem cells here.