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Partnering with Novo Nordisk: R&D partnering vision

Posted on 20 August 2013

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Novo Nordisk is a top pharma and healthcare company active in partnering, licensing in pharmaceuticals and services specialising in diabetes care equipment and medications.

Novo Nordisk knows the importance that research partnerships play in securing successful pipeline development.

Here is why Novo Nordisk thinks you should consider partnering with them:

  • Clear strategy in its focused disease areas
  • Believe in open and honest collaborations based on long-term commitment and mutual interest that are mindful of financial, environmental and societal considerations
  • Offer world-class protein and peptide technology and development expertise
  • Are a global research and development organisation with a strong history of collaborating with healtcare professionals and clinical trial centres around the world to develop proteins from molecule to market

For almost a century Novo Nordisk have discovered, developed and marketed protein-based therapeutics. Novo Nordisk continue to leverage our leading expertise in all aspects of designing, expressing, engineering, formulating and delivering proteins to develop new and innovative therapies for people with chronic diseases like diabetes, haemophilia and autoimmune inflammatory disorders.

Novo Nordisk have global reach

Novo Nordisk is a global organisation headquartered in Denmark. The company have long-standing professional relationships with key opinion leaders and decision-makers in our main disease areas around the world and work closely with them to develop, execute and communicate the clinical development of our products.

Novo Nordisk conduct world-class research in target and drug discovery, as well as protein engineering at our research and development sites around the world:

  • Sites, Denmark
  • Beijing, China
  • Seattle, USA
  • Bangalore, India

Collaboration process

The company have a dedicated organisation and methodology for working with its partners. The vision is to change Novo Nordisk through valuable partnerships, and the company are working focused to have healthy and productive alliances.

The main goal is to bring innovation from partnership to patients and Novo Nordisk believe that a dialogue that addresses mutual synergies and common interests creates the foundation for a win-win partnership. The company are a great believer in leveraging mutually core competencies and developing both partner and ourselves.

Novo Nordisk keeps track of and tightly manages the process from the first contact through the actual collaboration in the conduct phase. The company have well defined transition points, and partners will always have a single point of contact from the different functional areas.

Novo Nordisk partnering model

Source: Novo Nordisk website, 2013

Summary of Novo Nordisk partnering interests

Novo Nordisk splits its partnering interests into distinct areas.

These can be summarized as follows:


Novo Nordisk has been a leader in diabetes care since 1923 and continues to pioneer the development of novel treatments for this serious condition.

Novo Nordisk are constantly striving to improve the lives of people with diabetes by finding better methods of diabetes treatment and prevention.

Partnering focus - therapeutic compounds

  • Insulin and GLP-1 receptor peptide-agonists:
  • Insulins and GLP-1s with novel therapeutic properties
    • Optimised for oral delivery
    • Modified duration of action
    • Improved side-effect profile

Therapeutic proteins and peptides affecting:

  • Glucose regulation
    • Without inducing hypoglycaemia and/or
    • Without inducing weight gain and/or
    • With anti-obesity effects and/or
    • With anti-hyperlipidaemia/anti-atherosclerosis effects
  • Insulin secretion
  • Insulin resistance
  • Beta-cell mass
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes late complications
  • Inflammation related to diabetes and obesity
  • Prevention/progression of diabetes
  • Our partnering focus - technologies

Protein and peptide technologies:

  • Expression
  • Modification
  • Production

Formulation and drug delivery technologies for proteins and peptides:

  • Liquid
  • Oral
  • Sustained/triggered release

Protein delivery

In 1985, Novo Nordisk introduced the world’s first insulin pen. The insulin pen gave people with diabetes a convenient device to inject insulin several times a day. Since then, Novo Nordisk have made extensive efforts in research and development of new delivery systems which will help people with chronic diseases manage protein therapy even better.

Partnering focus

New injection device concepts and technologies

  • Injection of soluble protein formulations
  • Injection of lyophilised protein formulations

New infusion device concepts and technologies

  • Subcutaneous insulin infusion
  • Intravenous infusion for haemophilia therapy

New primary packaging concepts and technologies


Novo Nordisk’s  ambition is to change possibilities for people with haemophilia. Every step of the journey is focused on improving treatment options, providing better access to care and following through on our commitment to understand the needs of people with haemophilia.

Partnering focus

Seek partnerships within innovators aiming to improve options for the prevention and treatment of bleeding in people with haemophilia:

  • Improvement of current therapies for people with inhibitors, including prophylaxis
  • Improvement of FVIII- and FIX-based therapies for people with haemophilia A or B, including long-acting prophylaxis
  • Novel non-replacement therapies that improve haemostasis

Growth disorders

Novo Nordisk has been a major player in the field of growth hormone therapy for many decades, and we have world-class expertise in the physiology and pathophysiology of growth and regeneration. The company hold a leading position in the global growth hormone market, aiming for a leadership position – and we keep exploring new modalities to treat human growth hormone disorders.

Partnering focus

Seek technologies and compounds:

  • With long-acting potential
  • Suitable for oral administration


Novo Nordisk ambition is to develop novel immunotherapies that will significantly improve the lives of people with autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriatic arthritis. Novo Nordisk has established a state-of-the-art inflammation research site in Seattle, and we have a number of innovative monoclonal antibody projects in clinical development within autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Partnering focus

Novo Nordisk is committed to building a presence in treating autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases.

The company welcome first-in-class protein and peptide opportunities from research to clinical stage and focus on the following targets:

  • Molecules on the surface of cells involved in immune regulation
  • Cytokines

For the latest detail on Novo Nordisk’s partnering interests, visit the partnering section of Novo Nordisk website > go to Partnering for details.

Partnering outreach

Novo Nordisk are routinely present at a large number of partnering events throughout the year.

Partnering events are a great place to meet lots of potential partners face to face in a small amount of time.

Events with Novo Nordisk presence include but are not limited to:

-        BIO International Convention and Business Forum

-        BioPartnering Future Europe / BioPartnering North America

-        BioEurope / BioEurope Spring

For details of events that Novo Nordisk will be attending please visit their where to meet us page.

For a full list of forthcoming partnering events where you could meet with Novo Nordisk in person visit Current Partnering’s Event calendar.

In addition, you can find a full list of events where Novo Nordisk will be present for partnering discussions, visit the partnering section of Novo Nordisk website > go to Partnering for details.

Contacting Novo Nordisk for partnering

Novo Nordisk can be contacting in relation to partnering through a number of channels.

Here is a list of the most common channels:

Partnering events: face to face contact is generally considered the most effective form of contact. Partnering events not only allow face to face contact but also contact with multiple companies for the price of one flight and hotel reservation. This benefit makes partnering events the most cost effective method of making personal introductions as a start point for partnering discussions.

See Current Partnering’s event calendar for details of forthcoming events.

Direct contact: there are several sources of direct contact with Novo Nordisk business development team

Phone: Picking up the phone and speaking with an individual is the best form of non-face to face contact as it allows your name and voice to be remembered and associated with an opportunity.

Email: Sending an email is another good way of making contact. Ideally, research the individual responsible for the therapy/technology area being targeted and get in touch. Novo Nordisk publish a list of contacts on their website, use the contact information here.

LinkedIn: Business to business contact is increasingly taking place via LinkedIn, the global online networking channel. Many of Novo Nordisk business development executives have LinkedIn profiles and can be found by viewing the company’s profile. Visit Novo Nordisk LinkedIn page here

Opportunity submission form: the least favourable channel but worth using if you do not have access to the other channels mentioned above. Novo Nordisk provides an online opportunity submission form which can be found by partnering section of Novo Nordisk website > go to Partnering for details.



Company profile for Novo Nordisk

Partnering activity for Novo Nordisk

No M&A activity recorded for Novo Nordisk


Available reports from Current Partnering

Report: Partnering Agreements with Novo Nordisk 2005-2013

Report: Partnering Deals and Alliances with Big Pharma

Report: Partnering Deals and Alliances with Big Biotech


Available resources for deal coverage for Novo Nordisk

Subscribe: Current Agreements life sciences partnering, M&A and financing deals database – find out more

Read: more on Novo Nordisk company profile, recent partnering, M&A and financing news and articles



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