Year Established: 1989
Revenues: $17,127 (flat)
Net Income: $5,916 (+1%)
R&D: $2,267 (+6%)
TOP SELLING DRUGS
|Human insulin & devices||diabetes||$1,469||-4%|
|NovoSeven||Haemophilia A, B||$1,249||-11%|
|Norditropin SimpleXx||Short stature in children||$1,083||7%|
Revenue was flat for Novo Nordisk in 2018 at $17.1 billion. The Danish firms sells medicines mainly in diabetes, which accounted for almost $15 billion worth of group sales. Victoza again was the companies top seller, raking in $3.9 billion, a 10% growth from the year before. The newly launched diabetes medicine Tresiba performed well, climbing 14% to $1.2 billion. However, the fastest grower in the portfolio was the new obesity drug Saxenda—it’s $613 million in sales marked a 58% growth.
During the year, Novo Nordisk continued to broaden its diabetes portfolio and pipeline. In February 2018, it launched Ozempic, a new once-weekly GLP-1, in the U.S. The type 2 diabetes drug has now been launched in 11 countries in Europe and North America. In November, Novo Nordisk completed the Phase IIIa PIONEER program for oral semaglutide, a new once-daily GLP-1 tablet also for people with type 2 diabetes. Novo Nordisk submitted the oral semaglutide file around the end of first quarter 2019 to FDA and requested priority review.
Also, Novo Nordisk struck a deal with Evotec AG to discover and develop novel small molecule therapies to treat diabetes and obesity, as well as co-morbidities such as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cardiovascular diseases, and diabetic kidney disease. Evotec will apply its drug discovery platform to design novel, safe and efficacious products. Once suitable preclinical candidates are selected, Novo Nordisk will use Evotec’s INDiGO platform to move through preclinical studies to enter IND registration.
In an effort to grow the bio side of its business—group biopharmaceuticals sales decreased by 5% during the year to $2.8 billion—Novo Nordisk eliminated approximately 250 jobs in the U.S.
The company said it made the move as it continues to witness more modest growth in its diabetes franchises in recent years as a result of pricing pressures in the U.S., which accounts for approximately half of its revenue. One hundred of the staff reductions are from back-office positions in the company’s U.S. headquarters in Princeton, NJ, and the remaining 150 are among diabetes treatment support positions. The company previously announced plans to cut 400 staff in Denmark and China, also as part of an effort to focus on investments in biologics and technology innovation.
Novo Nordisk also expanded its biopharm business with an agreement to acquire the U.S. and Canadian rights to Macrilen, the first FDA-approved oral growth hormone receptor indicated for the diagnosis of Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency (AGHD), a rare endocrine disorder, from Strongbridge Biopharma.
Expanding its capabilities in biotechnology innovation, Novo Nordisk purchased Berkeley Lights’ Beacon Optofluidic platform to accelerate workflows in cell line development and to use the platform for future protein and antibody discovery.