Swedish Biotech Partners With Novo Nordisk to Advance Stem Cell Therapies for Diabetes

BioLamina Novo Nordisk

BioLamina has partnered with Novo Nordisk to develop stem cell therapies for diabetes and other conditions using a unique cell culture matrix technology.

BioLamina, based in Stockholm, is collaborating with the world-leader in diabetes treatment Novo Nordisk to develop stem cell therapies that use BioLamina’s protein cell culture matrices. BioLamina’s technology could enhance Novo Nordisk’s stem cell therapies effectiveness in treating diabetes.

BioLamina’s cell matrix technology uses laminins, a type of extracellular matrix protein, to grow homogenous and stable stem cell cultures and promote their survival and expansion. Novo Nordisk, on the other hand, has developed human embryonic stem cells that can be used in a variety of therapy areas. To treat diabetes, for example, the cells can be differentiated into insulin-producing beta cells that are protected from a patient’s immune system using an encapsulation device. In addition to diabetes, the combined technologies could be used to treat Parkinson’s disease, heart failure and vision loss as well.

Using cell therapies to treat diabetes is becoming increasingly interesting to biotech companies. Evotec and Sanofi, for instance, are also using stem cells to create beta cells that can either replace diseased cells or be used to screen small molecules and biologics that could be beneficial to beta cell activity. While BioLamina and Novo’s collaboration may make cell therapies easier to administer, the companies will have to beat the competition and the technology is still in its early stages.

Image by Christoph Burgstedt/Shutterstock

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