NVO » Topics » united to change diabetes

This excerpt taken from the NVO 6-K filed Feb 11, 2008.

united
to change
diabetes


Reaching across the globe, Novo Nordisk employees organised human blue circles, gathering more than a quarter of a million people to mark the first UN-observed World Diabetes Day on 14 November 2007.

It was a truly magnificent moment and one we are proud to have been part of. Never before have the landmarks of the world been so spectacularly lit up, and never before have so many people been engaged in advocacy to protect current and future generations against one of the biggest public health threats that mankind has ever faced.

The power of the possible

To defeat diabetes – that is our aspiration and our business.
     At Novo Nordisk we believe in the power of the possible. Our vision is one of civilisation based on sustainability, partnership and respect for the individual. Sustainability is a powerful, unifying force. We believe it is possible to be commercially astute and socially aware. To accelerate growth and minimise environmental impacts. To earn competitive returns and contribute to economic prosperity for society. These are the cornerstones of the Triple Bottom Line principle upon which we build our business. These are the messages we convey when we call upon governments to make the frameworks that enable us and our partners to contribute to creating wealth for the benefit of all.

Results

For Novo Nordisk, the year 2007 was yet another year with remarkable progress. Our financial results and the growth of our business were achieved despite an increasingly competitive environment and adverse currency exchange rates. This is underpinned by a solid track record on measures of economic, environmental and social impact. This was also rewarded: throughout the year, our shareholders have seen a significant appreciation of their investment in our company.
     In this report we highlight the assets that will help us sustain and build leadership in the business areas we focus on. Innovation of new or improved therapies is the foundation for the future of the pharmaceutical industry. In 2007, we invested more than ever in research and development, and we saw progress in a number of areas which are crucial to the future of our company. Throughout the world we have increased our presence and thereby our ‘share of voice’ in an increasingly competitive business environment and with that we have achieved greater acceptance of our products. Our manufacturing operations continue to improve productivity, allowing us to invest more in sales and marketing for the short term – and in research and development for the long term. And, most importantly, people at Novo Nordisk demonstrate that we’ve got what it takes to win: accountability, ambition, responsibility, engagement, openness and readiness for change.
     Three themes have been the key drivers of success and will remain on our agenda: globalisation, innovation and leadership.

Globalisation
Demands for proper healthcare are on the rise throughout the world,

 

and we must strengthen our global presence to stay competitive and expand the market for our products and services. Today, the number of Novo Nordisk employees outside Denmark exceeds that of our Danish organisation.
     The expansion of our global supply chain continued to accelerate. In 2007, with the largest investment of any pharmaceutical company in Latin America, we inaugurated our insulin filling plant in Montes Claros, Brazil. We also doubled the insulin filling capacity of our manufacturing facility in Clayton, North Carolina, to meet the growing demand for our products in the US.
     A significant expansion of our US sales and marketing organisation was completed in the first half of the year, aimed at supporting the continued roll-out of Levemir® and the rest of our portfolio of modern insulins.
     In China we entered into a long-term strategic collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which significantly expands our network of contacts with far-reaching implications for our research and development activities there.
     Sourcing of talent and of services are key engines of globalisation. In addition to the traditional internationalisation of research and development as well as manufacturing we are now also seeing encouraging results from sourcing services.

Innovation
Driving organisational development and optimisation of cross-organisational interfaces is critical to ensuring the successful execution of global clinical trial programmes such as the suite of phase 3 studies of liraglutide, Novo Nordisk’s furthest advanced new product candidate in the diabetes care business. The successful completion of the studies gives us reason to believe that this new class of diabetes therapy represents a potential, valuable treatment option for people with type 2 diabetes, and perhaps even prevention if applied for obesity-related health risks. This would represent a significant advance for diabetes care – and the future of Novo Nordisk.
     We saw unprecedented progress in our pipeline in 2007: next-generation modern insulin and NovoSeven® analogues, new indications for Norditropin®, lower-dose hormone replacement therapies as well as our portfolio of early-stage candidates for treatment of inflammation. Some of this progress can be ascribed to the fact that we have strengthened the project-centric organisation in our clinical development. We have improved cross-project alignment, systems of performance management, compensation packages and talent development programmes for all groups of employees.
     Regrettably, Novo Nordisk also experienced some setbacks in research and development in 2007.
     We began the year with a great disappointment when our final studies investigating rFVIIa for the treatment of intracerebral haemorrhage failed to show sufficient benefits for the patients. This was despite the fact that the trials were conducted at impressive speed, and with the highest level of professionalism. A hope for stroke patients faded away.
     We also decided to stop our research and development efforts to develop small-molecule oral therapies for type 2 diabetes – after many years of concerted efforts.


2 Novo Nordisk Annual Report 2007

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