Novo Seeds incubatee Embark Biotech enters collaboration with Novo Nordisk to discover novel therapeutics for obesity and metabolic disease

Novo Seeds incubatee Embark Biotech enters collaboration with Novo Nordisk to discover novel therapeutics for obesity and metabolic disease

Date
November 2, 2018
Location
Copenhagen
  • Embark was first incubated by Novo Seeds and funded through the pre-seed grant programme of the Novo Nordisk Foundation in 2016
  • Embark co-founder and CEO, Casper Tind Hansen, serves as an entrepreneur in residence at Novo Seeds new advisory unit

Copenhagen, Denmark, 2 November 2018 – Novo Seeds, the early stage investment arm of Novo Holdings, wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, today announced that its incubatee company Embark Biotech ApS (Embark), has entered into a research collaboration with Novo Nordisk A/S focusing on the discovery of novel treatments for obesity and its associated metabolic pathologies through mechanisms that increase energy expenditure. The aim of the collaboration is to develop novel drug candidates that help people with obesity lose weight by burning off excess energy instead of storing it as fat.

Embark was first incubated by Novo Seeds in 2016 as a spin-out from the Center for Basic Metabolic Research at University of Copenhagen, based on a pre-seed grant programme from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.  Co-founder and CEO, Casper Tind Hansen, who was instrumental in the creation of the company and its research platform, also serves as an entrepreneur in residence at BiOrigin, a recently established advisory unit for Novo Seeds.

Emmanuelle Coutanceau, Partner at Novo Seeds commented: “Our financial engagement in Embark demonstrates how our team can successfully translate strong academic discoveries into innovative start-up companies. It is a pleasure to work with Casper Tind Hansen and the academic founders in addressing the huge unmet medical need. This collaboration with Novo Nordisk has the potential to develop next-generation anti-obesity therapies that will significantly improve the quality of life for patients.

In addition to funding, we bring our commercial expertise to provide strategic support to portfolio companies, steering them through the critical start-up phase. As co-founder of Embark, Casper’s experience in establishing and managing early-stage companies has proven to be a valued addition to our advisory unit, as we build our portfolio companies like Embark into successful biotech start-ups.”

Embark CEO, Casper Tind Hansen, and entrepreneur in residence added: “Building on our academic founders’ insight and research into energy expenditure, we are thankful for the continued support from Novo Seeds, which has been instrumental in creating the Embark research platform and driving value creation through this collaboration with Novo Nordisk.”

The research platform of Embark, builds on novel and unique insights into receptors that stimulate energy expenditure without triggering the sympathetic nervous system (the ‘fight-or-flight’ response). The potential addition of energy expenditure drugs would make a meaningful difference in the treatment of obesity. As part of the collaboration agreement, Embark will receive research support for activities conducted in the collaboration, and Novo Nordisk has an option to license exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialise products discovered in the collaboration.

The research platform and spin-out of Embark has also been supported by starting grants from the European Research Council (ERC) and the Danish Council for Independent Research, as well as proof-of-concept grants from the European Research Council and the University of Copenhagen Tech Transfer Office.

 

Enquiries

For more information, please contact:

 

Novo Holdings

Emmanuelle Coutanceau
+45 3067 4777
ecou@novo.dk

 

Optimum Strategic Communications

Hollie Vile, Mary Clark
+44 (0) 787 687 2224   
healthcare@optimumcomms.com

 

About Embark Biotech

Embark Biotech ApS is a spin-out platform biotech company from University of Copenhagen, dedicated to deciphering the therapeutic potential of energy expenditure. The academic founders include Professor Thue W Schwartz, Associate Professor Zach Gerhart-Hines, Postdoc Jakob Bondo Hansen and CEO, Casper Tind Hansen.

The research platform and spin-out of Embark Biotech has been supported by exploratory pre-seed and pre-seed grants from Novo Seeds administered on behalf of the Novo Nordisk Foundation and by starting grants from the European Research Council (ERC) and the Danish Council for Independent Research, as well as proof-of-concept grants from the European Research Council and the University of Copenhagen Tech Transfer Office.

For more information, see www.embarkbiotech.com or contact Casper Tind Hansen at cth@embarkbiotech.com  

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