Pharma Focus Europe

Novo Nordisk and Evotec Collaborate to Introduce LAB eN², a Translational Drug Discovery Accelerator Targeting Innovation Gaps in Cardiometabolic Diseases

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Novo Nordisk and Evotec SE have introduced LAB eN², a novel program designed to accelerate early-stage research originating from academic institutions, with a primary focus on addressing unmet needs in cardiometabolic diseases, rare blood disorders, and rare endocrine disorders. LAB eN² represents a unique collaboration model that combines Evotec's versatile drug discovery and preclinical development capabilities with Novo Nordisk's expertise in therapeutics, clinical trials, and commercialization. This groundbreaking initiative has already garnered the participation of four prestigious academic institutions: Harvard University, Mass General Brigham, Yale University, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Uli Stilz, Head of Novo Nordisk's Bio Innovation Hub in Boston, expressed, "At Novo Nordisk, we are constantly searching for the next frontier in groundbreaking science. Many exceptional ideas originate in the academic sphere, but the challenge lies in translating this research into practical applications. With the launch of LAB eN² and our collaboration with these esteemed institutions, we see an immense opportunity to bridge this longstanding gap and advance innovative science, ultimately making a meaningful impact on individuals living with chronic conditions."

The prevalence of cardiometabolic diseases is on the rise, with approximately 537 million adults worldwide living with diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases ranking among the leading global causes of death. However, the journey from academic concept to treatments for individuals with chronic conditions is a complex and lengthy process, requiring specialized expertise in drug discovery and development, significant time and resources, and often elusive funding. LAB eN² was established to provide a solution-focused pathway for academic researchers, aiming to accelerate the translation of their academic discoveries into investigational new drug (IND) candidates for cardiometabolic diseases, as well as rare blood and rare endocrine disorders. LAB eN² offers financial support, scientific expertise, and cutting-edge technology to advance product concepts through preclinical proof of concept. Successful therapeutic candidates may then be selected by Novo Nordisk for further investment and development.

Thomas Hanke, EVP & Head of Academic Partnerships at Evotec, expressed enthusiasm for the LAB eN² launch, stating, "We are excited about the introduction of LAB eN² in collaboration with Novo Nordisk. Drawing on cutting-edge research and leveraging Evotec's end-to-end integrated platform, we are confident that LAB eN² will expedite promising and innovative therapeutic concepts from the laboratory to the bedside, particularly in disease areas with significant unmet needs."

Participating academic institutions will operate under a shared governance framework, developed in consultation with Harvard University, Mass General Brigham, and Yale University, with the aim of streamlining idea acceleration. Research concepts eligible for LAB eN² support will be selected based on proposals from investigators at the participating academic institutions. These concepts will be collaboratively developed and executed by the academic investigators, Evotec, and Novo Nordisk's Bio Innovation Hub in Cambridge, Massachusetts—an R&D unit specifically designed to collaborate with academia, emerging biotechs, and established companies to uncover medical solutions.

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