A multi-million-dollar deal has been made between two organisations to develop bioprinted tissues that could help treat the root causes of diabetes on a cellular level.

Novo Nordisk is contributing hundreds of millions of dollars towards helping Aspect Biosystems develop the bioprinted diabetes treatment.

Existing diabetes treatments from Novo Nordisk focus primarily on injected insulins and other medications, such as the semaglutide and Ozempic. The organisation also provides insulin pen technologies which make injecting insulin easier. Put simply, Aspects bioprinting software is a 3D printer for tissue therapeutics to target a health condition at the root.

The printer combines therapeutic cells and other biomaterials to create new tissues that can be surgically implanted.

The agreement involves Novo Nordisk committing $75 million to Aspect in upfront payments, research funding and a convertible note investment.

According to Novo Nordisk: “Aspect is also eligible to receive up to 650 million dollars in future development, regulatory, commercial and sales milestone payments per product, as well as tiered royalties on future product sales.”

As four possible obesity and/or diabetes product lines have been agreed upon, Aspect could collect up to $2.675 billion from Novo Nordisk as part of the deal.

The partnership between the two organisations combines Novo Nordisk’s ability to alter stem cells to fit certain biological needs and its large-scale manufacturing resources with Aspects bioprinting technology to create new treatments.

Jacob Sten Petersen, corporate vice president of Cell Therapy R&D, Novo Nordisk, said: “Novo Nordisk has built strong capabilities when it comes to producing functional and highly pure therapeutic replacement cells at the highest quality and at scale.

“Collaborating 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 could lead to life-changing treatments for those living with a serious chronic disease.”

The initial focus of the partnership will be on developing bioprinted tissue therapeutics for people living with type 1 diabetes which will help them maintain normal blood glucose levels without the need for immunosuppression.

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