Harvard University has entered into a collaboration with Novo Nordisk and Evotec SE, to establish LAB eN², a translational drug discovery accelerator that aims to nurture preclinical research from academic institutions for the development of novel therapeutics. The focus is on addressing unmet needs in cardiometabolic diseases as well as rare blood and endocrine disorders. LAB eN² is a unique engagement model that combines Evotec’s multimodality drug discovery and preclinical development capabilities with Novo Nordisk’s therapeutic, clinical, and commercial expertise.
Harvard University joins Mass General Brigham, Yale University, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as the initial four academic institutions to participate in LAB eN². Harvard’s Office of Technology Development along with peer institutions established the partnership with Novo Nordisk and Evotec. The LAB eN² collaboration’s goal is to support the incubation and development of drug discovery projects originating from participating academic institutions.
“This collaboration and launch of LAB eN² will provide support for research teams looking to advance the development of first-in-class therapeutics,” said Vivian Berlin, executive director at Harvard Medical School and managing director at Harvard’s Office of Technology Development. “Bringing together novel approaches to address cardio-metabolic and rare diseases with industrial expertise is a powerful combination that will increase the likelihood that innovative research will be translated into real world solutions.”
The prevalence of cardiometabolic diseases is drastically increasing, with approximately 537 million adults worldwide living with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases being a leading cause of death globally. While the need for new therapeutics is significant, the journey from academic idea to treatments for people living with chronic conditions is a long process that requires drug discovery and development capabilities and expertise as well as large investments of time, resources, and funding that can be difficult to acquire. LAB eN² was created to provide a solution-focused pathway for academic researchers, with a mission 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 will provide funding, scientific expertise, and technology to help advance product concepts through preclinical proof of concept, at which point successful therapeutic product candidates may be selected by Novo Nordisk for further investment and development.
Participating academic institutions will work under a common governance framework which was established in discussions with the institutions Harvard University, Mass General Brigham, and Yale University with the goal of accelerating ideas easily. Research concepts will be selected for LAB eN² support based on proposals from investigators at the participating academic institutions and will be jointly developed and executed by the academic investigators, Evotec, and Novo Nordisk’s Bio Innovation Hub in Cambridge, Massachusetts, an R&D unit designed to work with academia, emerging biotechs, and established companies to uncover medical answers. For more details on LAB eN², please visit: https://laben2.com