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Red Cross and Novo Nordisk announce ground-breaking partnership to tackle chronic care in humanitarian crises

Many more people are today affected by chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) than by communicable diseases. This is not reflected in resources for health in general and much less in humanitarian crises.   

18 April - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Danish Red Cross (DRC) and Novo Nordisk today announced a partnership to tackle the growing issue of chronic diseases that affect millions of people living in humanitarian crises around the world. The partnership has three building blocks:

  • Ensuring efficient supply of low-cost human insulin in vials to Red Cross operations globally  
  • Novo Nordisk support for ICRC’s and DRC’s health programmes, including efforts to improve NCD prevention and care
  • 2-3 projects to provide care to people with hypertension and diabetes in humanitarian crises to be conducted within three years

“Our three organisations are committed to addressing these unmet health needs through an explorative partnership that combines our respective areas of expertise,” says Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, CEO of Novo Nordisk.

Anders Ladekarl, secretary general in the Danish Red Cross adds: “As partner organisations we will use our influence and scale to do more to address the needs of people living with NCDs in humanitarian crisis, and advocate together with other humanitarian and health actors to promote this agenda. This partnership is a first step in realising our collective aspiration that all people with NCDs in humanitarian settings have access to care.”

Read CEO Lars Fruergaard's reflections and more about the partnership


Novo Nordisk obtains exclusive worldwide licence to EpiDestiny’s sickle cell disease programme

5 April - Novo Nordisk and EpiDestiny today announced that Novo Nordisk has obtained an exclusive worldwide licence to EpiDestiny’s sickle cell disease (SCD) programme, EPI01. 

“This is a great opportunity for Novo Nordisk to enter into a new therapeutic area closely related to our existing biopharmaceutical business and thereby utilise our core R&D and commercial capabilities to make a significant difference for patients living with a serious chronic disease. We're looking forward to working closely with EpiDestiny and their great network among sickle cell disease experts and the sickle cell community. We are confident that together we can make a significant difference for SCD patients and their families globally,” said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer of Novo Nordisk.

Read more about sickle cell disease and the partnership 


Ozempic® approved in Japan for the treatment of type 2 diabetes

22 March - Novo Nordisk today announced that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has approved Ozempic® (semaglutide), a new once-weekly analogue of human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes. 

Read the full announcement on the Japanese approval


Helge Lund, chairman of the Board of Directors

Helge Lund new chairman of Novo Nordisk

22 March - Novo Nordisk held its Annual General Meeting at which resolutions were adopted regarding the financial year 2017 and 2018; new chairman of the Board of Directors was elected, as well as new board members Andreas Fibig and Martin Mackay. 

Details about the resolutions



First phase 3a trial, PIONEER 1, with oral semaglutide successfully completed

22 February - Headline results from PIONEER 1, the first phase 3a trial with oral semaglutide for treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes were just published. CSO Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen said about the results: “We are very encouraged by the results of the PIONEER 1 trial, which confirm the unprecedented oral efficacy of semaglutide that was reported in the phase 2 clinical trial in type 2 diabetes. We look forward to providing data from the remaining nine PIONEER trials throughout this year and an expected regulatory submission in 2019.”

Read all the details about the trial in the announcement


400 million people worldwide living with diabetes

Marguerite is one of them. And to her 'approach' is everything.

She has struggled with weight her entire life. Making healthy choices for her has always been a challenge; she was dealt a hard hand early in life when she lost her mother at a young age. She struggled to cope with her loss and found solace in food.

After law studies, Marguerite's career as an associate professor of Law at Texas Southern University took off, it left little time and energy to prioritise cooking and exercise. Over the years, Marguerite did receive health advice, which was often provided in a perfunctory manner or even in a condescending tone. 

Cities Changing Diabetes

Obesity became prediabetes and then type 2 diabetes. Now, at age 62, she's finally succeeding with changes in her life. It basically took someone asking her “how are you?” Marguerite, in turn, has a simple ask to anyone providing health advice to people with diabetes: Look beyond BMI and blood sugar levels - have a conversation with that person so they can truly understand why they need to make changes.

Watch Marguerite tell her story (6:36 min) and keep updated about Cities Changing Diabetes

Read ‘Bending the curve on diabetes’ (report, 2017)


From dusty rooms to Davos

“The women I meet around the world are powerhouses. When you see some of the conditions they live under, and you see that they get up in the morning, they get dressed, no matter what odds are stacked against them, they take care of their children, they make a better future for themselves and their children – that is an eternal inspiration. Even in the hardest circumstances ..."

Read the interview with Katja Iversen, CEO of Women Deliver

Equality in health for girls and women

The mother of molecules

Lotte Bjerre Knudsen talks about how she turned an “underdog project” into a treatment for millions of people with diabetes and obesity. Listen to the  podcast and hear Lotte reflect on her life inside and outside of the lab. 

Read and listen to the story

Lotte Bjerre Knudsen

Results from the SUSTAIN 7 trial published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology

1 February  ­– Results from the SUSTAIN 7 trial, which investigated the efficacy and safety of 0.5 mg semaglutide compared with 0.75 mg dulaglutide and 1.0 mg semaglutide compared with 1.5 mg dulaglutide, when added to metformin, have been published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology

“It is imperative that clinical trial findings are published and made available to clinicians and the scientific community,” said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer at Novo Nordisk. “SUSTAIN 7 is an important head-to-head trial, demonstrating significant efficacy of once-weekly semaglutide vs dulaglutide, and we are pleased that the full manuscript is now available in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.”

Read the full press release


Sarah Ahmed from Ethopia has type 1 diabetes

Novo Nordisk committed to guarantee access to insulin

Access to reliable and affordable supplies of insulin is a challenge for many in the poorest nations in the world. Lars Rebien Sørensen has pledged to extend the current programme from 2001 and expand Novo Nordisk's commitment to supply human insulin at fixed low prices to the Least Developed Countries and low-income nations; the programme will now be extended to cover selected organisations providing relief in humanitarian situations.

Read all the details about Novo Nordisk's programme on access to insulin

The diabetes challenge - get an overview of Novo Nordisk's commitment 


Q1 financial results

Annual report 2017

Get an instant impression of what Novo Nordisk is about, see the numbers and read the articles, eg 'It takes more than medicine to defeat diabetes

Only 1 in 10 should live with diabetes

The Cities Changing Diabetes programme’s clear aim is to accelerate the global fight against urban diabetes. Status quo is not good enough. If we can reduce obesity by 25% globally, we can bend the diabetes curve so only 1 in 10 live with diabetes.

Follow Cities Changing Diabetes on Twitter or Facebook

Novo Nordisk in brief