Novo Nordisk drops small molecules

In a move that will likely send ripples through the global pharmaceutical industry, Novo Nordisk

Randall C Willis
BAGSVAERD, Denmark—In a move that will likely send ripples through the global pharmaceutical industry, Novo Nordisk announced it would be focus all of its R&D efforts on its expanding pipeline of protein-based therapeutics. In doing so, the company looks to grab a bigger share of a market that has seen tremendous growth in recent years and is projected to climb from $51 billion in 2005 to surpass the $85 billion mark by 2010 according to a recent report by Kalorama Information.
 
"Our core competences lie within therapeutic proteins, and it is within this area that we can make the greatest difference in terms of patient outcomes and company growth," explained Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, company CSO and EVP. "Therefore, it is a logical move to focus all our research and development efforts on this area."
 
The move will also see the company discontinue and likely divest itself of its small-molecule efforts in oral treatments for diabetes, including NN9101, the company's glucokinase activator that is currently in Phase I testing. Thus, the new focus will directly impact about 180 employees, half of whom can expect to be offered other positions within the company.

Randall C Willis

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