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New Swedish pluripotent cell therapy partnership with Novo Nordisk


48 million SEK partnership to develop pluripotent cell based cell therapy for Dry Macular Degeneration

The 24th of August it was announced that Novo Nordisk A/S and Karolinska Institutet have entered into a 48 million SEK collaboration to produce a cellular therapy, from human embryonic stem cells, to be delivered to patients in a clinical trial. This project represents a collaboration between 4 centres, Karolinska Institutet, Novo Nordisk, Karolinska Cell Therapy Center and Sankt Erik’s Eye Hospital.

  • The cellular therapy product will be based on research from Fredrik Lanner’s group at Karolinska Institutet, to produce Retinal Pigment Epithelia produced from human Embryonic Stem Cells.
  • The product is to be manufactured at the Karolinska Cell Therapy Centre (KCC), the GMP manufacture facility associated with Karolinska University Hospital, Flemingsberg.
  • The product will then be delivered to Sankt Erik’s Eye hospital, where a Phase I clinical trial for dry age related Macular Degeneration will be performed by Anders Kvanta.
  • Novo Nordisk will provide not only financial and product development support but bring with them world leading pluripotent stem cell R&D capabilities.

The KCC is a member of both CAMP and Swelife-ATMP and performs essential functions in assisting researchers to translate their research to clinical products. This therapy will be their first (and the first in Sweden) cell therapy pharmaceutical produced on Swedish soil from pluripotent stem cells. ”We’ve worked together with Fredrik Lanner establishing clinical pluripotent stem cell lines for several years now. We are really excited to take this next step with the resources and competence of Novo Nordisk towards developing this innovative cellular therapy product for patient treatment.” says Katrin Markland, Production Manager, KCC.

This is not the first time Novo Nordisk has partnered with Swedish pluripotent stem cell therapy developers, evidence of our world class research and translation in this area.  ”I am very proud to be a part of the just announced collaboration between Novo Nordisk, Karolinska Institutet, KCC and St. Erik’s Eye Hospital. It’s an amazing journey that we start now with truly passionate, inspirational and highly competent teams.” Says Carlos Villaescusa, Principal Scientist in Stem Cell Biology at Novo Nordisk.

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