The Research & Development Committee assists the Board of Directors with: the research and development strategy; the pipeline; and the R&D organisation.


The Research & Development Committee has four members elected by the Board of Directors from among its members. One member is designated as chair and one member is an employee-elected Board member.

In March 2021, the Board of Directors elected the following members to the Research & Development Committee:


Out of the four members of the Research & Development Committee, two members qualify as independent as defined in the Danish Corporate Governance Recommendations, including the chair, while Kasim Kutay and Thomas Rantzau qualify as non-independent given that Kasim Kutay is an executive of the main shareholder Novo Holdings A/S and Thomas Rantzau is an employee-elected Board member. According to the Danish Corporate Governance Recommendations a majority of the members of a board committee should qualify as independent. Hence, the composition of the Research & Development Committee does not adhere to the Danish Corporate Governance Recommendations. This is due to the fact that the Board of Directors finds that the composition of the Research & Development Committee allows for a representative of the main shareholder as well as an employee-elected Board member, both qualifying as non-independent, being on the Research & Development Committee while maintaining an operational structure of the Research & Development Committee with relative few members. 

The Research & Development Committee conducted five meetings in 2020. All Research & Development Committee members attended all committee meetings within the member’s term in 2020.

  • Regularly reviewed progress of the development project pipeline, including initiation and results of clinical trials, submission of application for marketing authorisations, and receipt of marketing authorisations for key development projects.
  • Reviewed progress of the research project pipeline, including key challenges and initiatives within early innovation and new therapeutic areas.

  • Discussed the increased need for external innovation sourcing.
  • Regularly reviewed potential as well as completed external innovation sourcing opportunities, including potential acquisitions and licensing opportunities.

  • Reviewed the long-term resource allocation to and within R&D.
  • Reviewed the research strategy within NASH and cardiovascular disease.

  • Reviewed the research organisation within a therapy area and technologies across therapy areas.
  • Reviewed organisational development activities and the long-term succession planning.

  • Reviewed and endorsed the Annual Work Plan for 2021.
  • Reviewed the R&D Committee charter.
  • Conducted private meetings without the assigned executive being present.
  • Reviewed and endorsed a report on the R&D Committee’s activities.

  • GLP-1 (subcutaneous and oral): Reviewed results of clinical trials conducted and discussed potential additional research and development activities to further explore opportunities within subcutaneous and oral GLP-1 as well as competitor initiatives.
  • Mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia: Discussed the potential opportunities to address unmet needs.