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Stem Cells May Be Next Frontier for Diabetes Drugmaker Novo

  • First clinical trials could start within five years, CEO says
  • Billionaire Sean Parker is among those pursuing type 1 cure
Coloured scanning electron micrograph of human stem cells.
Source: Getty Images

Novo Nordisk A/S, the world’s biggest maker of drugs to treat diabetes, says it’s making progress on the long road to a potential cure.

Novo’s stem cell research may enter clinical trials within five years, Chief Executive Officer Lars Rebien Sorensen said in an interview. The target is a lifelong form of diabetes in which the body’s defense system attacks and destroys cells that make insulin -- the hormone tasked with converting blood sugar into energy. “This will happen,” said Sorensen, who will retire in coming days after 16 years at the helm of the Danish drugmaker.