The Sky is the Limit: Novo Nordisk continues to rise

The world’s leading insulin supplier, Novo Nordisk, turns in a superb performance in the first six months of 2015. Sales revenues increased, two IIIa trials were successfully completed and two new treatments are now available on the huge diabetes market of the US.

We visited Denmark for our last Labiotech tour. We knew Novo was important, but not as important as we saw. Novo was literally everywhere, financing basic research, biotech start ups and later-stage ventures. It even represents the most valuable Danish publicly listed company. (Our Denmark documentary will be published in September, but before, you can have a look at the teaser!)

Novo Nordisk’s headquarter in Denmark

Novo Nordisk possesses one of the broadest portfolios for the treatment of diabetes. Since its foundation in 1923, the Danish company hasn’t stopped growing, and 2015 is no exception. In the first half of the year, the company’s sales got up by 25% to €7Bn (DKK52.3Bn) and the net profit climbed by 35% to €2.44Bn (DKK18.2Bn). North America and China greatly contributed to this rise.

Novo Nordisk has much to offer in insulin-like drugs, but these are not the only ones it supplies. It had particular success with the sales of Victoza, a non-insulin based treatment for diabetis type 2. The sales rose by 41%. It also benefited much from its proper technology such as the insulin pen Levemir, which increased sales by 28%.

Inside Novo, the foundation that controls Novo Nordisk.

In 2015, Novo Nordisk also entered the fight against a disease that actually leads to diabetes: obesity. The drug Saxenda was launched in July in the US, a huge market, as about nearly 80 million American were living with the disease in 2011-2012. Like its natural counterpart glucagon, the glucagon-like-peptide-1 developed by Novo, regulates appetite to reduce the food intake.

Its late stage pipeline also promises a future increase. In July, Novo reported two successful Phase IIIa studies, one new weekly-given glucagon-like-peptide-1 and a supplement treatment for insulin therapy. If everything works out well, the drugs will get to the patients soon.

As we saw, 2015 was a good year for Novo Nordisk until now, and it helped the Danish company to sustain its position as the world leader in insulin supply, ahead of its main competitors Eli Lilly and Sanofi.

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