Novo Nordisk will collaborate with the Langer Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop next-generation drug delivery devices.

The devices are hoped to be an oral alternative to parenteral or injection-based delivery of peptides.

There are many challenges of developing and producing a reliable peptide delivery vehicle – including avoiding premature degradation in the body, overcoming epithelial barriers, limiting variability of absorption (which can be caused by interaction with food in the stomach), and producing both peptide and the delivery vehicle cost-effectively.

Novo says that if these challenges can be overcome, drug delivery devices hold great promise for diseases where patients need to take frequent injections.   

Robert Langer, professor and head of the Langer Laboratory at MIT, says: "We are very excited to be doing research sponsored by Novo Nordisk to address one of the current greatest challenges in drug delivery".

The collaboration will establish a number of research positions that will be hosted by the Langer Laboratory and funded by Novo Nordisk. The initial term of the collaboration is three years with the option to extend for up to three additional years.