Enlight Biosciences forms new partnerships with AstraZeneca and Novo Nordisk

Thursday, 15 December 2011

This partnership reflects AstraZeneca’s commitment to accessing and fostering innovation that exists outside of our own labs

Menelas Pangalos, Executive Vice President, Innovative Medicines

AstraZeneca

Enlight Biosciences LLC announced today that it has formed new partnerships with AstraZeneca and Novo Nordisk. As partners in Enlight, AstraZeneca and Novo Nordisk will have the opportunity to collaborate and invest in the development of potentially transformational technologies with application to their therapeutic programs. Enlight was created by PureTech Ventures in partnership with major pharmaceutical companies and academic luminaries to proactively address critical unmet industry needs.

According to Enlight’s CEO, Michelle Browner, Ph.D., “One of the keys to the success of Enlight is the rich dialogue between our network of scientific and clinical experts together with our pharmaceutical partners. We will greatly benefit from contributions of AstraZeneca and Novo Nordisk to this excellent group of industry and academic leaders. ”

“Enlight provides a unique opportunity for AstraZeneca and MedImmune , our biologics arm, to collaborate with our peers and contribute to the development of tools that will fundamentally enhance R&D across the industry, said Menelas Pangalos, Executive Vice President, Innovative Medicines, AstraZeneca.”

“At Novo Nordisk, we apply our unique combination of skills in protein engineering and expression, formulation and delivery to enhance the quality of care and bring new treatment options to patients,” said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Executive Vice President and CSO at Novo Nordisk. “Through our participation in Enlight, we will be able to actively support the advancement of innovative ideas while proactively addressing the needs of our expanding global R&D organization.”

Enlight’s innovations are drawn from academic laboratories, startups and ideas generated internally by the Enlight team, including a scientific advisory board led by Nobel Laureate Dr. H. Robert Horvitz. Enlight is focused on areas that include molecular imaging, biologics, and drug formulation and delivery methods, as well as novel chemistries and production technologies, biomarkers and drug safety. Hundreds of technology opportunities are evaluated each year, with only the top one or two selected to become actively managed programs.

Since its founding in 2008, Enlight has publicly announced the formation of two companies – Entrega and Endra –and in addition has several companies that have not yet been publically announced. Entrega is developing a proprietary delivery technology to enable the oral administration of proteins, peptides and difficult-to-deliver small molecules. Endra has commercialized a breakthrough preclinical imaging technology that combines the properties of light‐based (optical) imaging with ultrasound to enable advanced live-animal imaging for preclinical research.

About Enlight

Enlight is a unique entrepreneurial partnership with major pharmaceutical companies and leading academics, focused on pioneering breakthrough innovations for drug discovery and development. Our partners are able to foster the development of high impact enabling technologies and platforms and focus their investment into the innovations that will directly address their most pressing common needs.

Enlight was co-founded by PureTech Ventures and academic luminaries led by Dr. H. Robert Horvitz, Enlight's SAB Chair, Nobel Laureate, Howard Hughes Investigator, and Koch Professor of Biology at MIT; Dr. Sam Gambhir, Chair of the Department of Radiology and Chief of the Division of Nuclear Medicine, Stanford; Dr. Rakesh Jain, Cook Professor of Tumor Biology at MGH and Harvard Medical School; and Dr. Raju Kucherlapati, Cabot Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Millennium and Abgenix. Enlight's team also includes an experienced senior pharmaceutical executive, Dr. Bennett Shapiro, PureTech Ventures Senior Partner, former Executive Vice President of Basic Research and Worldwide Licensing at Merck & Co., Inc.

Enlight Contact:

Michelle Browner, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
617-456-0364
mbrowner@enlightbio.com