Date: 11 Nov 2009

Inflammation GroupSt Vincent’s Hospital Sydney announced the signing of a global exclusive licence and research agreement with Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company and a world leader in diabetes care. The agreements provide Novo Nordisk with worldwide rights to develop and commercialise Macrophage Inhibitory Cytokine (MIC-1, or GDF-15) related technology for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and obesity.

“St Vincent’s is excited by the prospect of partnering with Novo Nordisk to progress MIC-1 technology in the pursuit of making major research inroads in the battle against diabetes and obesity,” said Steven Rubic, CEO of St Vincents & Mater Health Sydney. 

St Vincent’s will receive an upfront payment, research fees and future milestones plus royalties on future sales.  Under the licence and research agreements, Novo Nordisk will be responsible for future development and product commercialisation.  St Vincent’s will continue to progress its research on the MIC-1 technology with Novo through an ongoing research collaboration.

Macrophage Inhibitory Cytokine (otherwise known as Growth Differentiation Factor-15 (GDF-15)) is a member of the Transforming Growth Factor-ß (TGF-ß) cytokine family.  Professor Samuel Breit and co-workers at St Vincent’s Centre for Applied Medical Research were the first to clone MIC-1 and since then have been a leading international group in studies of this important protein.

St Vincent’s Hospital will continue to own broad intellectual property rights to MIC-1 which has other therapeutic applications in areas such as cachexia and diagnostic applications relating to such areas as cancer and cardiac disease.