SEATTLE—Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI), a non-profit biomedical research institute in Seattle, Wash., and Novo Nordisk, a global health care company headquartered in Denmark, recently announced a three-year collaborative agreement to potentially speed-up translational research of the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and lupus.
The agreement establishes how Novo Nordisk and BRI research scientists and BRI clinicians will collaboratively develop studies to better understand changes in the immune systems of patients living with these autoimmune diseases. The intent is to develop better therapies and improve how these treatments are used.
Autoimmune diseases happen when the immune system, designed to protect the body, attacks it instead.
“Translational research" describes a research approach that seeks to move discoveries made in laboratory, clinical or population studies more quickly into clinical care. In this specific agreement, BRI scientists and Novo Nordisk researchers at the company’s Seattle research center will work together to study samples and data registered in BRI’s biobank of patients with these diseases, as well people with no history of autoimmune disorders. The personal information of these patients will not be disclosed.
“This is the first time we have established a collaborative agreement like this and we’re pleased to be working so closely with Novo Nordisk to integrate scientific discovery, the development of diagnostic and treatment solutions and their clinical application," said BRI associate director Jane Buckner, MD, a practicing rheumatologist and leader of the Kenneth R. Wilske Center for Translational Research at Virginia Mason. “We anticipate that this will accelerate as never before our ability to better understand, diagnose and treat these illnesses."