Novo Nordisk and the Swedish university consortium Combine have announced a research collaboration in the field of autoimmune diseases. Under the agreement, Novo Nordisk will work with scientists from the six universities that make up the Combine consortium, to develop a better understanding of how the immune system responds in patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
The aim will be to develop novel therapies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. The collaboration will also work on determining why certain patients do not respond to current treatments and how autoimmune diseases develop over time. It is hoped this can lead to the development of more targeted treatments, which can be used to treat particular groups of patients.
The agreement allows relevant Combine members to test Novo Nordisk preclinical development compounds in patient tissue samples. Such samples are routinely collected by Combine members from patients with autoimmune disease. Additionally, blood samples from patients with autoimmune diseases who are being treated with conventional therapies will be analysed for specific biomarkers to help understand why some patients respond to a particular therapy and why others do not.
The collaboration will run for an initial period of two years, and covers three projects. The collaboration can be expanded to contain more projects if needed. The financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.