Danish drug-maker firm Novo Nordisk announced to invest £115 million over 10 years in a new science research centre in Oxford.
Ultimately hiring 100 researchers and scientists, the proposed facility will work on new techniques of curing type 2 diabetes.
The decision to finance in the UK was labeled by David Gauke, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, as “a vote of confidence in the UK’s position as a world-leader in science and research”.
The drug-maker said in a statement that the company was enticed by Oxford’s history of “excellence”.
In a recent interview Company’s executive vice-president and chief science officer Mads Thomsen said the UK’s decision to leave the EU made the firm pause for thought, but Novo Nordisk took a very long view.
“Obviously we think the Brexit decision was unfortunate. That being said, Oxford University has been around for 800 years so the academic excellence and our company’s ability to turn that into medicines hasn’t really changed,” he said.
Even though the disease research and molecular biology will be completed in Oxford, any new drugs or treatments will be developed and manufactured in Denmark and, although Oxford University will get some reward for any success, Mads Thomsen made it very clear that the lions share of any commercial spoils will go to the Danish company.
“You have to bear in mind the investment behind a new successful medicine is typically £500 million which is mostly expensed by the company,” he said.
Overseas firms and financiers have been injecting cash into the UK’s top universities in recent years. In November last year, a fund set up to commercialize research at Oxford declared an extra £300 million of funding, almost all of which came from China, Singapore and Oman.