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Novo Nordisk to focus research efforts on diabetes

The largest manufacturer of insulin, Novo Nordisk, has stated its intention to focus on its core business of developing diabetes treatments.
The Danish company had been working on a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflamed joints. The treatment, Anti-IL-20, failed to reach its targets in a phase II clinical trial pushing back any chance of receiving marketing approval until the late 2020s. As a result, Novo Nordisk has taken the decision to close its research into inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
Novo Nordisk will instead focus its research efforts on treatments for diabetes, diabetic complications and obesity. Novo Nordisk is the manufacturer of a number of widely prescribed diabetes drugs with a portfolio that includes insulin such as NovoRapid, Levemir and the new ultra-long acting insulin Tresiba, plus the GLP-1 agonist Victoza.
Novo Nordisk is continuing its research in new drug areas, notably towards the development of an insulin pill. In dropping their inflammatory disease research arm, Novo Nordisk will free up funding that could be used towards development of an oral insulin treatment.
Chief Science Officer of Novo Nordisk, Mads Krogsgaard Thomse, stated: “Significant unmet opportunities remain within diabetes, including prevention, obesity and diabetes complications. We have therefore decided to further increase our research and development efforts within diabetes which is our main business area.”

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