Novo Nordisk invests heavily another cancer research firm  

Denmark's largest medico concern invests DKK 500 million in the Swedish-American biotech company Biostratum, whose owners include BankInvest

Denmark's largest medico concern Novo Nordisk has entered an agreement with the Swedish-American biotechnology company Biostratum, whose owners include BankInvest. The deal gives Biostratum over DKK 500 million. Novo Nordisk and Biostratum will collaborate on the development of monoclonal antibodies against the protein laminin-5 for use in cancer treatment. The properties of laminin-5 were discovered at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden by Professor Karl Tryggvason, who is a co-founder of Biostratum. Novo Nordisk have obtained development and marketing rights for laminin-5 in connection with cancer.


This latest investment move by Novo Nordisk in the cancer area extends a current run. Just before Xmas it invested in the French biotechnology company Innate, and before that in the US company ZymoGenetics, both of which concern cancer research. However Novo Nordisk's research director Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen refutes any suggestion that the company is shifting focus away from its core business area of diabetes treatment. He emphasises that Novo Nordisk possesses key competencies in recombinant protein technology and that in terms of future development, its protein based drugs could well find applications in new therapeutic areas – cancer treatment for example.


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