Novo Ventures, a part of Danish investment group Novo Holdings, has collaborated with Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to support drug discovery projects aiming to bring new therapies into the clinic.

The partners have created the Novo Broad Greenhouse initiative to develop molecular medicines.

Novo Broad Greenhouse will leverage science expertise from academia and Broad Institute Center, for the Development of Therapeutics (CDoT)’s drug discovery expertise.

Novo Holdings, the parent company of Novo Nordisk, will contribute via therapeutics development expertise.

Through its US subsidiary, Novo Holdings will provide up to $25m over five years to support seed-stage drug discovery projects at Broad Institute.

Seed-stage projects are set to comprise validation of drug targets, evaluation of ‘druggable’ potential for specific proteins or genes, or development of assays to investigate drug candidates.

Additional funding may be provided to support the ‘sprout’ phase, which involves progress towards a clinical candidate and the ‘bloom’ phase of advancing into clinical testing in humans.

Broad Institute chief scientific officer Todd Golub said: “The pace at which we can now discover the biological mechanisms and root causes of disease is staggering. But in so many cases, these discoveries aren’t yet making it past the lab.

“The Greenhouse gives us a new opportunity to collaborate across boundaries, combining our expertise with our partners’ to transform our knowledge into the therapies that will benefit patients.”

As part of the initiative, CDoT faculty and researchers will work to transform academic research into drug discovery projects.

CDoT has projects across a variety of therapeutic areas such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, psychiatric disorders and immunoregulation.

In July last year, Broad Institute expanded its alliance with Bayer to launch the Precision Cardiology Laboratory (PCL), focusing on developing therapies for heart failure.