The Novo Nordisk Foundation Cellerator is being developed in Lyngby, Denmark. Credit: Tegnestuen Kontekst/DTU.
The facility will be located at the DTU in Lyngby. Credit: DTU.
The Cellerator will support the development of cell therapies. Credit: FrentaN via Shutterstock.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation, the philanthropic arm of pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, is developing a new advanced laboratory facility named Novo Nordisk Foundation Cellerator in Lyngby, Denmark, for the development and manufacture of cell therapies.

The Cellerator is established as a limited liability company and is wholly owned and funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

With an investment of up to DKr950m ($136.2m), the facility will offer services ranging from process development to good manufacturing practice (GMP) manufacturing, product release, and regulatory support.

The Cellerator will cater to both public and private entities from academia, biotech, and the pharmaceutical industry. It will be the first large-scale production site in Denmark to offer such a comprehensive range of expertise and services.

Construction on the facility is scheduled to begin in mid-2024, and operations are expected to begin in 2027.

Location

The Cellerator will be situated within the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in Lyngby, leveraging the university’s cell manufacturing and infrastructure expertise.

The strategic location fosters synergies with the DTU’s research, education, and innovation activities in health tech and biotechnology, benefiting from collaborations with startups and established companies.

Novo Nordisk Foundation Cellerator details

The Cellerator will house a process development and GMP facility tailored to the specific needs of cell therapy services.

The facility will be equipped with automation and modern technology to support various cell therapy types, including those derived from embryonic, induced pluripotent, and adult stem cells.

It will focus on developing cell therapies that have shown success in animal trials and manufacturing them at scale for early clinical trials. Furthermore, the facility will have built-in flexibility to respond to changing demands in the field.

Cell therapy represents a transformative approach to treating chronic diseases by using living cells to either repair or replace damaged tissues and cells.

Despite promising laboratory results, many potential therapies do not progress to human trials due to challenges in development and large-scale manufacturing.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Cellerator aims to bridge the gap by becoming Europe’s premier facility for producing cell therapies for clinical trials. It is expected to foster advancements that could revolutionise the treatment of chronic diseases and reshape healthcare.

The Cellerator will also provide a unique opportunity for researchers and students to translate cell technologies into treatments for a range of diseases such as chronic heart failure, Parkinson’s disease, kidney ailments, diabetes, and cancer.

Partners involved

The Cellerator will collaborate with reNEW, an international research centre specialising in stem cell medicine, funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Established in 2021, reNEW spans Denmark, Australia, and the Netherlands, focusing on developing new stem cell-based treatments. The partnership, formalised in September 2023, will be instrumental in advancing research from the laboratory to clinical applications.

Contractors involved

The conceptual design of the new facility was developed by Tegnestuen Kontekst, an architecture and planning business based in Denmark.

Marketing commentary on Novo Nordisk Foundation

Founded in 1924 in Denmark, the Novo Nordisk Foundation is a corporate foundation with philanthropic goals. The foundation’s vision is focused on enhancing the health of individuals by supporting advancements in research and innovation for the prevention and treatment of  infectious diseases and cardiometabolic conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The foundation is also dedicated to fostering the sustainability of society and the environment by promoting the development of knowledge and solutions that aid the green transition of society. It is supporting research and development in the areas of sustainable agriculture, development of improved food systems and combating climate change through carbon capture and storage.

In addition, the foundation aims to create a life science ecosystem by supporting fundamental research and the development of novel technologies such as data and material sciences, artificial intelligence (AI), genomics, robotics, microbiome and systems biology.