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Novo Nordisk to Invest $150M in Danish National Genome Center

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Novo Nordisk Foundation will invest DKK 990 million ($150 million) over the next four-and-a-half years to support the Danish National Genome Center, the organization said last week.

The fund, which is managed by the same group that owns Novo Nordisk and Novozymes, will provide financial support to the genome center's data and information technology unit beginning next year.

Lars Rebien Sørensen, chairman of the Hellerup, Denmark-based foundation, said in a statement that Novo Nordisk decided to invest in the center to "create opportunities for improving and targeting treatment services for numerous disease areas."

The center, set to open next year, is a featured piece of Denmark's personalized medicine project, called Per Med. The country set aside DKK 100 million last year to get the center up and running. However, support from private and public funds, like Novo Nordisk Foundation, has always been envisioned for the project.

According to the Novo Nordisk Foundation, it will invest DKK 102 million in the center in 2019 to support its activities. It has awarded a separate grant of DKK 30 million to support the creation of a "resilient project plan" for operating the center. As a result of the Danish initiative, genome sequencing facilities will be set up in Aarhus and Copenhagen.

The country's Ministry of Health has said it expects that about 60,000 people will undergo whole-genome sequencing in the first five years of the center's operations. All data will be stored in a centralized national database, and will support future clinical genomic research.