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Press Release

A B O U T     EDI

Lena Gray, P.T. &

Baby Development Expert

ROCHESTER, NY, January 4, 2022 – Empire Discovery Institute (EDI) has entered into a five-year collaborative research partnership with leading global healthcare company Novo Nordisk A/S to launch LeapRx, a new initiative where EDI and Novo Nordisk will co-invest, incubate and accelerate innovative drug discovery and development projects initiated by academic partners. 

Through this initiative, EDI will work closely with the recently formed Novo Nordisk Bio Innovation Hub in Cambridge, Massachusetts.LeapRx will focus on areas of mutual interest to EDI and Novo Nordisk, specifically therapies for diabetes (type 1, type 2), obesity, cardiovascular disease, NASH, chronic kidney disease, and rare blood disorders.  

LeapRx will provide financial support and pharmaceutical industry expertise to aid researchers affiliated with EDI’s core academic research labs at the University of Rochester, the University at Buffalo, and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in maturing innovative ideas towards the future medicines. Premier academic research institutions not affiliated with EDI’s core labs are also welcome to apply to LeapRx through their technology transfer offices.

Each organization brings together a unique set of complementary expertise, experience, and capabilities. EDI’s early-stage drug discovery and development expertise along with Novo Nordisk’s scientific, regulatory, clinical, commercial and marketing capabilities will help advance the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative break-through medicines.

“We look forward to working with our R&D collaboration partners at Novo Nordisk. By bringing together scientific innovation, pharmaceutical industry expertise, and funding, our mission is to facilitate the efficient translation of fundamental scientific discoveries into important new medicines for commercialization,” said Martin Graham, CEO of Empire Discovery Institute.

For Novo Nordisk, this partnership represents a continuation of its dedication to support the vibrant life science ecosystems in the Northeast U.S.

“The intersection between fundamental academic research and pharmaceutical R&D is where we believe we can uncover the innovation that will lead to medicines of the future. We are excited to see what early-stage research projects we can support the development of through our collaboration with EDI and participating academic institutions,” said Uli Stilz, Vice President of Novo Nordisk Bio Innovation Hub.



Empire Discovery Institute (EDI) is a non-profit New York drug discovery and development accelerator created to translate promising scientific discoveries into new break-through treatments and cures, support vital upstate NY pharmaceutical research efforts, and foster the development of a vibrant biotech start-up community within New York State. Company CEO Martin Graham has assembled a world-class team of scientific, technical and business development veterans to its Advisory Board who have an established track record of translating discoveries through the early stages of development to clinical proof of concept and commercialization. EDI serves as an important bridge across the “valley of death” which has traditionally divided academic innovation from commercial translation.  EDI has been made possible through an Empire State Development seed grant from New York State and through a research partnership with the University of Rochester, University at Buffalo, and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. (


The Novo Nordisk Bio Innovation Hub is a cross-functional R&D team based in Boston’s innovative life science ecosystem. It is a part of Novo Nordisk – a global healthcare company, headquartered in Denmark. The ambition of the Novo Nordisk Bio Innovation Hub is to establish and drive an externally anchored portfolio of co-created, breakthrough therapeutic concepts as well as technology and delivery projects. Through close connection to scientists, academics, entrepreneurs as well as venture capital, foundations, and associations, the team engages to co-develop concepts with Novo Nordisk’s global R&D organization to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. For more information, visit (  



Molly Mesko
Director of Portfolio Development and Alliance Management

Empire Discovery Institute enters research partnership with leading global healthcare company Novo Nordisk 

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