Diabetes Research Unit

90 years of bringing innovative treatment to people with diabetes



The Diabetes Research Unit is focused on maintaining Novo Nordisk's leadership in diabetes. Scientists working in Denmark, China and the US make up the unit, and they specialise in the discovery, design, and delivery of biological medicines for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

In addition, the research unit is also expanding its activities to include the discovery and early development of novel treatment approaches for obesity and long-term, micro-vascular complications of diabetes such as nephropathy and retinopathy.

Industry's broadest diabetes pipeline

Building on 90 years of pioneering diabetes research, Novo Nordisk now has the broadest clinical pipeline in diabetes. Our current pipeline includes projects involving new treatment targets in diabetes and obesity, as well as oral insulin and GLP-1 projects. At our Hagedorn Research Institute, we also conduct stem cell and beta cell regeneration research and other early stage investigations aimed at finding a cure for diabetes.

Video: The challenge of developing an insulin tablet

Our clinical development pipeline in diabetes and obesity has innovative projects from early to late-stage development, including our next generation, ultra-long-acting insulin degludec and insulin degludec aspart.



Gaining insight into unmet patient needs in diabetes

Our specialty at Novo Nordisk is to take novel scientific ideas and turn them into effective, safe and convenient therapeutic proteins and peptides that fit into people's lives. One way that we do this in the Diabetes Research Unit is by actively participating in scientific and medical conferences around the world. We also maintain close professional collaborations with diabetes research hospitals, such as the Steno Diabetes Centre in Denmark, to continuously inform our understanding of the real-life treatment challenges facing people with diabetes every day.

In order to find innovative solutions to these challenges, we exchange novel ideas across our international research sites, as well as in strategic alliances with academic and biotech partners. Our presence in the scientific communities around the world, signified by our sites in Beijing, Seattle and Måløv, Denmark, ensures an influx of new and diverse talent to our organisation making it possible to stay at the forefront of the diabetes field.  

Our heritage in diabetes care

We have been leaders in diabetes care since the 1920's. Currently, we are the only company offering a complete range of modern insulin products from basal to prandial to premix insulins - and we have also invented and launched the world's first once-daily, human GLP-1 analogue, liraglutide, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

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Broadest diabetes pipeline in industry

Diabetes pipeline


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Join forces with Novo Nordisk to advance diabetes care

Partnering for innovation in diabetes


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Novo Nordisk - Chinese Academy of Sciences Research Foundation



Supporting future scientific minds in diabetes research

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STAR programme


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Meet a diabetes biologist working at Novo Nordisk



Film: Searching for the 'holy grail' in insulin treatment


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Novo Nordisk's commitment to people with diabetes:



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