In the forefront of stem cell research
Novo Nordisk is an active partner in national and international cooperative projects involving stem cells. Novo Nordisk will only use human embryonic stem cells when is anticipated that the same results cannot be obtained from the use of adult stem cells. At present no source other than embryonic stem cells has proven useful in generating insulin-producing cells in vitro (studies performed in test tubes).
It has been a satisfying process to participate in the public and political debate leading up to a Danish regulation of the area, and we are well prepared to initiate research on human embryonic stem cells in the future. We are still participating in the international debate to create further clarification for regulation and funding
Ole Dragsbæk Madsen, Director of Research Hagedorn Research Institut
Novo Nordisk, together with the majority of scientists within the field of stem cell research, finds that it is essential to proceed with research in both adult and embryonic stem cells in parallel. This position is partly to gain basic knowledge about the normal cell maturation processes and partly to clarify the potential of the two cell types.
Novo Nordisk is at the forefront of stem cell research. The department of Stem Cell Biology at the Hagedorn Research Institute (an independent basic research institute within Novo Nordisk) is the only industrial partner in two cutting-edge research efforts: Beta Cell Biology Consortium (BCBC) supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) USA, and the JDRF-Center for Beta Cell Therapy in Diabetes (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) in Europe supported by the EU. Furthermore, Hagedorn also collaborates with world-leading academics for example Harvard Stem Cell Institute in a joint project on diabetes disease modelling using induced pluripotent stem cells.