- GE HealthCare has joined Novo Nordisk’s multi-front attack on diabetes and obesity, partnering with the drug developer to advance ultrasound treatments of the chronic diseases.
- The collaborators will study the use of peripheral focused ultrasound (PFUS) as a non-invasive, non-pharmacological alternative to medicines for managing blood glucose in patients with Type 2 diabetes.
- Partnering with GE HealthCare gives Novo access to expertise in ultrasound technology. By pairing that expertise with its own knowledge of metabolic diseases, Novo plans to generate clinical data to validate the use of PFUS.
Building on the success of its GLP-1 receptor agonists — drugs that are used for diabetes and weight loss — Novo has struck a series of deals to build out its obesity and diabetes R&D pipeline in recent months. The deals focused on pharmacological treatments of the conditions, reflecting Novo’s expertise and focus, but the Danish drugmaker has now identified an opportunity to apply ultrasound technology to the indications.
The GE HealthCare deal builds on years of research into PFUS. Studies have shown that activating the hepatoportal nerve plexus using PFUS may improve glucose homoeostasis and tolerance. Scientists have seen improvements in multiple diabetic animal models, and shown the approach alleviates obesity and associated complications in mice. The work has caught the attention of Novo.
“Although early, the possibilities of using ultrasound for therapeutic purposes are compelling and we welcome our collaboration with GE HealthCare in this truly novel area,” Martin Holst Lange, head of development at Novo, said in a statement.
The partners aim to show ultrasound can normalize blood glucose in people with Type 2 diabetes.