Danish drug giant Novo Nordisk just invested $145m in Oxford University to find a cure for diabetes

Shruti Tripathi Chopra
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The funding will be spread over the course of 10 years (Source: Getty)

One the world’s biggest diabetes drug companies has defied Brexit doom and gloom to invest £115m in a new research centre at Oxford University.

Danish giant Novo Nordisk said it hopes the investment will help the university look for new ways to treat type 2 diabetes.

The funding will be spread over the course of 10 years, Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Novo’s chief scientist, said yesterday.

Thomsen added that last year’s shock Brexit vote did not deter Novo from investing in Britain.

“There’s no doubt that Brexit created uncertainty for a period in our deliberations,” he told Reuters yesterday.

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As part of the new set-up, academics at Oxford and Novo’s industrial scientists will collaborate daily to research new cures for type 2 diabetes.

James Johnson, currently a professor at the University of British Columbia, has been appointed head of the Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford.

Johnson is an expert on pancreas biology, insulin action and diabetes.

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Thomsen added: “This collaboration brings together some of the world’s sharpest minds in the field of diabetes to seek new targets for therapeutic innovation.

“It combines Novo Nordisk’s 90 years’ experience in developing treatments for diabetes with the expertise of world leading scientists from the University of Oxford.

“Our vision is that the unique combination of industrial and academic know-how will eventually lead to a new generation of treatments to improve the lives of people with type 2 diabetes.”

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Other top pharmaceutical giants investing in research and development in Britain include AstraZeneca which is finishing a nearly £400m headquarters and research centre in Cambridge.

GlaxoSmithKline, on the other hand, vowed to invest £288m to expand manufacturing in Britain in July last year, shortly after the EU referendum.

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