Aspect Biosystems and Novo Nordisk A/S will collaborate in developing bioprinted tissue therapies to replace, repair, or augment biological functions in the body with the aim of providing a new class of disease-modifying treatments for diabetes and obesity.
The collaboration will leverage Aspect’s bioprinting technology and Novo Nordisk’s background in stem cell differentiation and the development and manufacture of cell therapies.
Under the terms of the agreement, Novo Nordisk will receive an exclusive worldwide license to use Aspect’s bioprinting technology to develop up to four products for the treatment of diabetes and/or obesity. Aspect will receive an initial payment of $75 million, including an up-front payment, research funding, and investment in a convertible note. Aspect is also eligible to receive up to $650 million in future development, regulatory, commercial, and sales milestone payments per product, as well as tiered royalties on future product sales.
“We are excited to partner with Novo Nordisk, a global leader and pioneer in the fight against diabetes and chronic disease, to create breakthrough therapies that can change the lives of millions of people around the world,” said Tamer Mohamed, chief executive officer, Aspect Biosystems.
“This partnership leverages Aspect’s comprehensive network therapeutics platform, talented team, and bold vision, and reinforces our strategy to create bioprinted tissue therapeutics by partnering with global industry leaders while also advancing our internal therapeutic pipeline.”
Cell-based medicine from Aspect Biosystems
Aspect has developed a technology platform that enables the development of a new class of cell-based drugs designed to function biologically, encapsulate to be immune protective and suitable for surgical implantation. Novo Nordisk has developed expertise to differentiate stem cells into a variety of cells that can be used to replace damaged and lost cells. This could lead to the treatment of certain diseases, such as the insulin-producing beta cells in type 1 diabetes, as well as the ability to manufacture cells on a large scale.
The goal of this collaboration is to develop bioprinted tissues that can be implanted to replace, repair, or augment biological functions. These tissues will be designed to be allogeneic, meaning the cells used come from a single source to enhance the viability of large-scale production in the future.
“Novo Nordisk has built strong capabilities in producing functional, highly purified therapeutic replacement cells of the highest quality and scale,” said Jacob Sten Petersen, corporate vice president of Cell Therapy R&D, Novo Nordisk.
“The collaboration with Aspect Biosystems adds an important component to our strategy to develop comprehensive cell therapy products. We are excited to co-develop solutions for cell therapy delivery that can lead to life-changing treatments for those living with serious chronic disease.”
The collaboration will initially focus on developing a bioprinted tissue therapy designed to maintain normal blood glucose levels without the need for immunosuppression, which may be a transformative treatment for people living with type 1 diabetes.