Aspect Biosystems, Novo Nordisk Partner to Develop Bioprinted Tissue Therapeutics

Published on: 
BP Elements, BioPharm International's BP Elements, May 2023, Volume 2, Issue 5

Aspect Biosystems and Novo Nordisk A/S have announced a collaboration, development, and license agreement to develop bioprinted tissue therapeutics.

On April 12, 2023, Aspect Biosystems and Novo Nordisk A/S announced a collaboration, development, and license agreement to develop bioprinted tissue therapeutics designed to replace, repair, or supplement biological functions inside the body with the aim of delivering a new class of truly disease-modifying treatments for diabetes and obesity, according to a release.

The agreement states that Novo Nordisk will receive an exclusive, worldwide license to use Aspect’s bioprinting technology to develop up to four products for the treatment of diabetes and/or obesity. Meanwhile, Aspect will receive initial payments of US$75 million, including an upfront payment, research funding, and an investment in the form of a convertible note. According to the press release, Aspect is also eligible to receive up to US$650 million in future development, regulatory, commercial and sales milestone payments per product, as well as tiered royalties on future product sales.

“We are thrilled to partner with Novo Nordisk, a global leader and pioneer in the fight against diabetes and chronic diseases, to create breakthrough therapeutics that could transform the lives of millions of people around the world,” said Tamer Mohamed, chief executive officer, Aspect Biosystems, in a press release. “This partnership leverages Aspect’s full-stack tissue therapeutic platform, talented team and bold vision, and reinforces our strategy to create bioprinted tissue therapeutics through partnerships with global industry leaders while also advancing our internal therapeutic pipeline.”

A new platform technology from Aspect may allow for the development of a novel class of cell-based medicine designed to be biologically functional, encapsulated to be immune-protective, and suitable for surgical implantation. For Novo Nordisk, their team has developed expertise to differentiate stem cells into a wide array of cells that may be used to replace damaged and lost cells which could lead to a specific disease, like insulin-producing beta cells in type 1 diabetes, or manufacturing capabilities to produce the cells at scale.


The goal of the partnership is to create implantable bioprinted tissues to replace, repair, or supplement biological functions. Further, these tissues will be designed to be allogeneic, which means the cells used are derived from a single source to increase the practicality of future large-scale manufacturing.

“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,” said Jacob Sten Petersen, corporate vice president and head of Cell Therapy R&D, Novo Nordisk, in a press release. “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.”

Source: Aspect Biosystems