Campus Watch: A new £115 million diabetes research centre will be opened at Oxford University

A new diabetes research centre is to be opened at Oxford University by Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. The company’s £115m investment and their promise of 10 years of continued funding comes in spite of Brexit and the many “uncertainties” the vote has produced.

Novo Nordisk has been a specialist in diabetes medication for 90 years and the Oxford research centre will be the company’s second in Europe and its fifth worldwide. The unusual decision to locate the centre within a university is seen as a valuable opportunity to unite industry and academia in the fight against diabetes.

By integrating 100 Novo Nordisk scientists with the 2,500 people already employed on Oxford’s biomedical campus, Sir John Bell, Oxford’s Professor of Medicine, anticipates a daily sharing of “knowledge and insights that will potentially produce new medicines for people living with Type 2 diabetes and its complications.”

The investment is a sign of a revival of drug discovery research in the UK after a decade of decline. Furthermore, the partnership between Novo Nordisk and Oxford represents of a shift in corporate research away from in-house labs towards collaborative and outsourced research, which UK universities are greatly benefitting from.

Mariana Avelino

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