- Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk this week began construction on a $1.8 billion diabetes drug production facility in North Carolina, its first API facility outside of Denmark, the company said.
- The company aims to ramp up U.S. production of its diabetes medicines as the disease's prevalence has spread in the U.S. Novo is a major producer of insulin and diabetes treatments, including Tresiba and Victoza.
- Construction is anticipated to be completed by 2020, at which point the plant will begin production of GLP-1 and insulin medicines.
Novo's insulin and diabetes products sales growth has been driven by the U.S. and North American markets. This new facility will help the company meet that demand and give it increased capacity to product its next-generation treatments like its GLP-1 drug semaglutide.
"As the prevalence of diabetes has grown in the U.S., so too has the demand for effective treatments," said Novo CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen. "This site will play a vital role in enabling us to meet the needs of people living with diabetes in the U.S. for years to come."
The new facility is being constructed next door to an existing Novo plant, which makes the company's FlexPen and FlexTouch prefilled insulin devices. Novo said it would hire 700 new employees to staff the new facility.
Novo has pushed its GLP-1 candidate semaglutide through five successful phase 3 trials, with a sixth and final trial forthcoming. Both Novo and its main competitor Sanofi see analogs of the hormone GLP-1, which increases natural production of insulin, as the next frontier for diabetes medicines. Sanofi has said it will use a priority review voucher to expedite the review process in the U.S. for its own GLP-1 drug Lixilan.