Novo Nordisk invests $749M to boost API manufacturing for clinical trials

With all the talk of drugmakers trimming back pipelines and laying off staff, it’s good to occasionally report on some more expansionist plans across the sector. For Novo Nordisk, that means investing 5.4 billion Danish kroner ($749 million) to boost R&D manufacturing needed to support its clinical trials.

The money has been earmarked to increase the company’s capacity to produce its own active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for its trials around the globe. This means expanding its existing manufacturing site in Bagsværd, Denmark. The project is likely to continue into 2024, with around 160 new roles recruited.

“This investment in expanding our clinical API capacity in Bagsværd is an important step to ensure the continuous progress of our development pipeline,” said Jesper Bøving, senior vice president of CMC development. “Increasing our API capacity in R&D will be a key enabler in bringing new innovations to the market and meet the future demand of our patients.”

Novo Nordisk has already been expanding its workforce. The Danish Big Pharma employed almost 52,700 people as of the end of September, a 12% increase on the previous year, which the company attributed to its product supply, international operations and R&D units.

Meanwhile, this year has seen the company ink a number of agreements to boost its preclinical and clinical pipelines, including a partnership with venture capital firm Flagship Pioneering for cardiometabolic and rare diseases, paying over $1 billion for sickle-cell-disease-focused Forma Therapeutics and a drug discovery collaboration with Microsoft.