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Novo Nordisk Extends Diabetes Operations

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Novo Nordisk (NVO - Free Report) has a strong presence in the diabetes care market with one of the broadest diabetes portfolios in the industry.

Recently, Novo Nordisk announced that it will invest $100 million in a new research and development facility in Denmark to increase its drug development capacity. This will boost the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients for a growing number of diabetes drugs under development. This plant will be fully operational by late 2016.

Novo Nordisk’s diabetes pipeline includes semaglutide, IDegLira, Tresiba and Ryzodeg. All four candidates are being developed for the treatment of type II diabetes.

Novo Nordisk’s Diabetes Care segment recorded sales growth of 12% in 2013. Modern insulins generated strong revenues (up 14%) driven by NovoRapid (up 12%), NovoMix (up 10%) and Levemir (22%). Novo Nordisk's key drug, Victoza, is a once-daily human glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogue approved for improving blood sugar (glucose) levels in adult type II diabetes patients. The drug witnessed sales growth of 27%, primarily driven by strong growth in U.S., Europe and International Operations.

Novo Nordisk is looking to expand Victoza’s label. In Dec 2013, Novo Nordisk filed marketing applications with the U.S. and EU regulatory bodies for Victoza 3 mg, in combination with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with obesity, or who are overweight with comorbidities.

Novo Nordisk carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked players include Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN - Free Report) and Alkermes plc (ALKS - Free Report) and Lannett Co. Inc. (LCI - Free Report) . All three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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