Novo Nordisk

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Novo Nordisk A/S
IndustryPharmaceuticals, Health care
Founded21 December 1923; 99 years ago (1923-12-21)
Key people
RevenueIncrease 176.9 billion kr. (2022)
Increase 74.81 billion kr. (2022)
Increase 55.53 billion kr. (2022)
Total assetsIncrease 241.3 billion kr. (2022)
Total equityIncrease 83.49 billion kr. (2022)
OwnerNovo Holdings A/S (28%)
Number of employees
Increase 55,185 (end 2022)
Footnotes / references
Former logo

Novo Nordisk A/S is a Danish multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Bagsværd, Denmark,[3] with production facilities in nine countries and affiliates or offices in five countries. Novo Nordisk is controlled by majority shareholder Novo Holdings A/S which holds approximately 28% of its shares and a majority (77%) of its voting shares.[4]

Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services, specifically diabetes care medications and devices.[5] Its main product is the drug semaglutide, used to treat diabetes under the brand name Ozempic and obesity under the brand name Wegovy.[6] Novo Nordisk is also involved with hemostasis management, growth hormone therapy, and hormone replacement therapy. The company makes several drugs under various brand names, including Levemir, Tresiba, NovoLog, Novolin R, NovoSeven, NovoEight, and Victoza.[1]

Novo Nordisk employs more than 48,000 people globally, and markets its products in 168 countries.[7] The corporation was created in 1989, through a merger of two Danish companies which date back to the 1920s. The Novo Nordisk logo is the Apis bull, one of the sacred animals of ancient Egypt. Novo Nordisk is a full member of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).[8]

The company was ranked 25th among the 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2010 and 72nd in 2014 by Fortune.[9] In January 2012, Novo Nordisk was named the most sustainable company in the world by the business magazine Corporate Knights, while spin-off company Novozymes was named fourth.[10] Novo Nordisk is the largest pharmaceutical company in Denmark.[11] Its market capitalization exceeded the GDP of its domestic economy in 2023, and it is the highest valued pharmaceutical company in Europe.[12]



Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium commercialises the production of insulin.[13]


The company established its presence in the United States in 1982.[citation needed]

In 1986, Novo Industri A/S acquired the Ferrosan Group, now named as "Novo Nordisk Pharmatech A/S."

In 1989, Novo Industri A/S (Novo Terapeutisk Laboratorium) and Nordisk Gentofte A/S (Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium) merged to become Novo Nordisk A/S, the world's largest producer of insulin with headquarters in Bagsværd, Copenhagen.[14]

In 1991, Novo Nordisk Engineering (now NNE A/S) demerged after working as in-house consultants at Novo Nordisk for years, to provide standard engineering services (end-to-end engineering) to pharma manufacturing companies.[15]

In 1994, Novo Nordisk's existing information technology units was spun out as NNIT A/S. The company was converted into a wholly owned aktieselskab in 2004[16] In March 2015, NNIT was floated on the Nasdaq Nordic.


Novo’s enzymes business, Novozymes A/S, was spun-out in 2000.[17]

Headquarters of Novo Nordisk USA, located in Plainsboro Township, New Jersey

Novo acquired Xellia for $700 million in 2013.[18]

The same year, Novo Nordisk USA moved into new headquarters offices in Plainsboro Township, New Jersey, by way of extensively renovating abandoned premises. This action served to consolidate several facilities that the company had previously had in Plainsboro.[19]

In 2015, the company announced it would collaborate with Ablynx, using its nanobody technology to develop at least one new drug candidate.[20]

In January 2018, Reuters reported that Novo had offered to acquire Ablynx for $3.1 billion - having made an unreported offer in mid-December for the company.[21] However, the Ablynx board rejected this offer the same day, explaining that the price undervalued the business.[21] Ultimately Novo lost out to Sanofi who bid $4.8 billion. Later, in the same year, the company announced it would acquire Ziylo for around $800 million.[22]


In March 2020, Novo volunteers started testing samples for SARS-CoV-2 with RT-qPCR equipment in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to increase available test capacity.[23] In June, the business announced it would acquire AstraZeneca's spin-off Corvidia Therapeutics for an initial sum of $725 million (up to a performance-related maximum of $2.1 billion), boosting its presence in cardiovascular diseases.[24] In November, the company announced it would acquire Emisphere Technologies for $1.8 billion, gaining control of a pill-based treatment for diabetes.[24][25] In December, Novo announced it would acquire Emisphere Technologies for $1.35 billion.[26]

In November 2021, Novo announced it would acquire Dicerna Pharmaceuticals and its RNAi therapeutics, for $3.3 billion ($38.25 per share).[27]

In September 2022, Novo agreed to acquire Forma Therapeutics for $1.1 billion with the intent to expand its sickle cell disease and rare blood disorders portfolio.[28]

By 2022 the popularity of Novo's Wegovy and Ozempic for weight loss was so great as to significantly increase growth of the entire economy of Denmark. The company's profits increased by 45% year over year in the first half of 2023.[6] In August 2023, Novo agreed to acquire the Montreal-headquartered pharmaceutical company, Inversago Pharma for $1 billion[29] and Embark Biotech for up to $500 million.[30] In October 2023, the company announced it would acquire ocedurenone—an experimental drug for uncontrolled hypertension and potentially beneficial in treating cardiovascular and kidney diseases—from KBP Biosciences for $1.3 billion.[31]

Acquisition history[edit]

Novo Nordisk Acquisitions
  • Novo Nordisk A/S
    • Xellia (Acq 2013)
    • Ziylo (Acq 2018)
    • Corvidia Therapeutics (Acq 2020)
    • Emisphere Technologies (Acq 2020)
    • Dicerna Pharmaceuticals (Acq 2021)
    • Forma Therapeutics (Acq 2022)
    • Inversago (Acq 2023)
    • Embark Biotech (Acq 2023)


Novo Nordisk is involved in government funded collaborative research projects with other industrial and governmental partners. One example in the area of non-clinical safety assessment is the InnoMed PredTox.[32][33] The company is expanding its activities in joint research projects within the framework of the Innovative Medicines Initiative of European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations and the European Commission.[34]

Diabetic work[edit]

Novo Nordisk's largest manufacturing plant located in Kalundborg, Denmark

Novo Nordisk founded the World Diabetes foundation to save the lives of those affected by diabetes in developing countries and supported a UN (United Nations) resolution to fight diabetes, making diabetes the only other disease along with HIV / AIDS that the UN has a commitment to combat.[35]

Diabetic treatments account for 85% of Novo Nordisk’s business. Novo Nordisk works with doctors, nurses, and patients, to develop products for self-managing diabetes conditions. The DAWN (Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs) 2001 study was a global survey of the psychosocial aspects of living with diabetes. It involved over 5,000 people with diabetes and almost 4,000 care providers.[36] This study was designed to identify barriers to optimal health and quality of life. A follow-up study completed in 2012 involved more than 15,000 people living with, or caring for, those with diabetes. In response to British findings, a National Action Plan (NAP) was developed, with a multidisciplinary steering committee, to support the delivery of individualised person-focused care in the United Kingdom. The NAP seeks to provide a holistic approach to a diabetic treatment for patients and their families.[37]

The i3-diabetes programme is a collaboration between the King's Health Partners, one of only six Academic Health Sciences Centres (AHSCs) in England, and Novo Nordisk. The programme is a five-year collaboration designed to deliver personalised care that will lead to improved outcomes for people living with diabetes, and more efficient and effective ways of caring for people with diabetes.[38][39]

Diabetic support advocacy[edit]

Novo Nordisk have sponsored the International Diabetes Federation's Unite for Diabetes campaign.[40]

In March 2014, Novo Nordisk announced a partnership program entitled ‘Cities Changing Diabetes,’ which entails combating urban diabetes. Partnership includes University College London (UCL) and supported by Steno Diabetes Center, as well as a range of local partners including healthcare professionals, city authorities, urban planners, businesses, academics and community leaders.[41]

A November 2014 newspaper article, suggested that a recent medical research breakthrough at Harvard University (creating insulin-producing cells from embryonic stem cells) could potentially put Novo Nordisk out of business. Dr Alan Moses, the chief medical officer of Novo Nordisk, commented that the biology of diabetes is incredibly complex, but also that Novo Nordisk's mission is to alleviate and cure diabetes. If this new medical advance "...meant the dissolution of Novo Nordisk, that'd be fine."[42]

Research and pipeline[edit]

Novo Nordisk was researching pulmonary delivery systems for diabetic medications, and in the early stages of research into autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases, using technologies such as translational immunology and monoclonal antibodies [43] In September 2014, the company announced a decision to discontinue all research in inflammatory disorders, including the discontinuation of R&D in anti-IL-20 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.[44]

In September 2018, it was reported that the company would lay off 400 administrative staff, laboratory technicians and scientists, in Denmark and China in order to concentrate research and development efforts on “transformational biological and technological innovation”.[45]


In 2010, Novo Nordisk breached the code of conduct for Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), by failing to provide information about side-effects of Victoza and by promoting Victoza prior to being granted market authorisation.[46]

In 2013, Novo Nordisk had to pay back 3.6 kr. billion to the Danish tax authorities due to transfer mispricing.[47]

In March 2013, a debate emerged in which scientists questioned whether the incretin class of diabetic medications – the class to which Victoza belongs – had an increased risk of side effects in the pancreas such as pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. It was concluded that data currently available did not confirm these concerns.[48]

In October 2013, batches of NovoMix 30 FlexPen and Penfill insulin were recalled in some European countries as their analysis had shown that a small percentage of the products in these batches did not meet the specifications for insulin strength.[49]

In September 2017, Novo Nordisk agreed to pay $58.7 million to end a United States Department of Justice probe into the lack of FDA disclosure to doctors about the cancer risk for their diabetic drug, Victoza.[50]

In March 2023, Novo Nordisk was suspended from the ABPI for a period of two years, for engaging in misleading marketing practices that amounted to "bribing health professionals with inducement to prescribe".[51] This is only the eighth time in the last 40 years that ABPI sanctioned a member organization.[52] Due to this, the Royal College of General Practitioners[53] and the Royal College of Physicians[54] ended their corporate partnerships as it would be in breach of their ethical guidance. The Novo Nordisk General Manager of the UK, Pinder Sahota, chose to resign as President of the ABPI prior to the suspension.[52]

Sponsorships and pitchpeople[edit]

Charlie Kimball at the 2015 Indianapolis 500

Novo Nordisk has sponsored athletes with diabetes, such as Charlie Kimball in auto racing and Team Novo Nordisk in road cycling.[55]

As of the 2010s, Anthony Anderson (star of Black-ish) serves as a pitchman for Novo Nordisk, and featured in the company's television advertisements which aired in the US.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Annual Report 2022" (PDF). Novo Nordisk. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 June 2023. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  2. ^ "Form 6-K". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 3 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Who we are". Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  4. ^ "Novo Nordisk share and ownership structure". Retrieved 24 August 2023.
  5. ^ "Novo Nordisk sees slower 2020 growth with US insulin prices pressured". CNBC. 5 February 2020. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  6. ^ a b Nelson, Eshe (30 August 2023). "Novo Nordisk Tilts G.D.P. In Denmark". The New York Times. p. B1. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  7. ^ "Annual Report 2021" (PDF). Novo Nordisk. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 February 2022. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  8. ^ "The Pharmaceutical Industry in Figures - 2008 Edition". European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). p. 49. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  9. ^ "100 Best Companies to Work For 2010: Full list". Fortune. 2010.
  10. ^ read, Bart King Published 8 years ago About a 2 minute (27 January 2012). "Novo Nordisk Ranked World's Most Sustainable Corporation". Sustainable Brands. Retrieved 20 April 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Stegger, Clara (2 December 2022). "Første danske virksomhed nogensinde: Novo Nordisk rammer gigantisk beløb". Finans (in Danish). Retrieved 18 January 2023.
  12. ^ Wienberg, Christian (9 August 2023). "Novo's Value Surpasses Denmark GDP After Obesity Drug Boost". Bloomberg News.
  13. ^ "Insulin 100 years".
  14. ^ "Our History". Archived from the original on 8 July 2019. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  15. ^ "About us - learn more about NNE".
  16. ^ "NNIT History". Archived from the original on 8 July 2019. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Our history". Retrieved 1 September 2023.
  18. ^ "Novo A/S acquires Xellia Pharmaceuticals for US$ 700 million". 21 May 2013.
  19. ^ De Poto, Tom (18 April 2013). "Novo Nordisk transforms vacant building into U.S. headquarters". The Star-Ledger. Newark, New Jersey.
  20. ^ "Novo Nordisk Joins Ablynx in Up-to-$399M+ Nanobody® Alliance". 25 November 2015.
  21. ^ a b "Ablynx soars after rejects Novo Nordisk's $3.1 billion biotech bid". 8 January 2018 – via
  22. ^ "Novo Nordisk Acquires Ziylo in Possible $800 Million-Plus Deal". BioSpace.
  23. ^ Mølsted, Henning (28 March 2020). "Dual shift at Novo now testing Corona samples" (in Danish). Ingeniøren.
  24. ^ a b "Reuters | Breaking International News & Views". Reuters.
  25. ^ "Novo Nordisk Acquires Emisphere Tech in $1.8 Billion Deal | BioSpace".
  26. ^ "Novo Nordisk Completes Acquisition of Emisphere Technologies for $1.35 Billion | BioSpace".
  27. ^ "Novo Nordisk to Acquire Dicerna | BioSpace".
  28. ^ Roy, Mrinalika; Jacobsen, Stine (1 September 2022). "Novo Nordisk to acquire Forma Therapeutics in $1.1. bln deal". Reuters.
  29. ^ Constantino, Annika Kim (10 August 2023). "Novo Nordisk to acquire obesity drug maker Inversago Pharma for up to $1 billion". CNBC. Retrieved 11 August 2023.
  30. ^
  31. ^ Roush, Ty (16 October 2023). "Novo Nordisk Buys Hypertension Drug Ocedurenone For $1.3 Billion—Expanding Ozempic Maker's Arsenal". Forbes.
  32. ^ Mattes, William B. (2008). "Public Consortium Efforts in Toxicogenomics". In Mendrick, Donna L.; Mattes, William B. (eds.). Essential Concepts in Toxicogenomics. Methods in Molecular Biology. Vol. 460. pp. 221–238. doi:10.1007/978-1-60327-048-9_11. ISBN 978-1-58829-638-2. PMID 18449490.
  33. ^ "InnoMed PredTox Member Organizations". Archived from the original on 26 September 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  34. ^ Innovative Medicines Initiative. "IMI Call Topics 2008". IMI-GB-018v2-24042008-CallTopics.pdf. European Commission. Archived from the original on 15 October 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  35. ^ "World Diabetes Foundation website". Archived from the original on 19 September 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  36. ^ "Study Results". DAWN Study. Novo Nordisk. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  37. ^ Funnell, M. M. (2006). "The Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes, and Needs (DAWN) Study". Clinical Diabetes. 24 (4): 154–155. doi:10.2337/diaclin.24.4.154.
  38. ^ "i3-diabetes programme". Archived from the original on 14 December 2014.
  39. ^ "How Effective Is The Diabetes Destroyer System?".
  40. ^ "Novo nordisk in united effort on world diabetes day".
  41. ^ "Novo Nordisk launches 'Cities Changing Diabetes' to fight urban diabetes". Novo Nordisk. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  42. ^ Roland, Denise (24 November 2014) Insulin pioneer sees end in sight for diabetes – and itself The Daily Telegraph, Retrieved 25 November 2014
  43. ^ "Biopharmaceutical Research Unit," Novo Nordisk Corporation". Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  44. ^ Lamm, Greg (4 September 2014). "Novo Nordisk cuts jobs at Seattle research facility". Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  45. ^ "Novo Nordisk sheds 400 staff as it refocuses R&D efforts". Financial Times. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  46. ^ "Novo Nordisk Limited, Eli Lilly and Company Limited, Grünenthal Ltd and Napp Pharmaceuticals Limited named in advertisements". Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA). Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  47. ^ "Sådan snød Novo Nordisk Skat for 3,6 milliarder". Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  48. ^ Funch, D.; Gydesen, H.; Tornøe, K.; Major-Pedersen, A.; Chan, K. A. (2014). "A prospective, claims-based assessment of the risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer with liraglutide compared to other antidiabetic drugs". Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. 16 (3): 273–275. doi:10.1111/dom.12230. PMC 4237552. PMID 24199745.
  49. ^ "Medical alert: Batches of NovoMix 30 FlexPen and Penfill to be recalled". Diabetes UK. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  50. ^ McLaughlin, David; Harris, Andrew M.; Feeley (6 September 2017). "Novo Nordisk Settles U.S. Suit Over Victoza for $58.65 Million". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  51. ^ Davis, Nicola (16 March 2023). "Firm behind Wegovy slimming jab suspended from UK trade association". The Guardian.
  52. ^ a b Grover, Natalie (16 March 2023). "Novo Nordisk suspended from UK lobby group". Reuters.
  53. ^ "RCGP statement on partnership with Novo Nordisk".
  54. ^ Das, Shanti; Ungoed-Thomas, Jon (18 March 2023). "'Skinny jab' drug firm facing fresh inquiries after 'serious breaches' of industry code". The Guardian.
  55. ^ Bulik, Beth (28 September 2016). "Novo Nordisk and Indy driver Charlie Kimball drive partnership to 100-race mark and counting". Fierce Pharma. Retrieved 21 June 2018.

External links[edit]