Ypsomed inks deal to manufacture GLP-1 autoinjectors for Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk has spent the last two years scrambling to keep up with skyrocketing demand for its blockbuster GLP-1 drugs, the obesity-focused Wegovy and Type 2 diabetes med Ozempic, forcing it to outsource some production of both the drug and its accompanying syringes and injection devices. As it continues to build out its GLP-1 portfolio, the Danish drugmaker has recruited yet another helping hand.

Joining the assembly line is Ypsomed, which has signed on to manufacture “large quantities of autoinjectors” for Novo, it announced Wednesday.

Ypsomed said in the release that the autoinjectors will be used to deliver 1-milliliter doses of various drugs for metabolic conditions, including new medications currently undergoing clinical trials; the Swiss devicemaker’s head of investor relations, Thomas Kutt, told Reuters that the autoinjectors will specifically be paired with Novo’s “second-generation GLP-1s.”

Under the terms of their long-term deal, Ypsomed will churn out autoinjectors, backed by an undisclosed amount of funding from Novo to expand its manufacturing capabilities. Additionally, according to the announcement, “In order to reduce dependencies, third-party manufacturers will also get the right to manufacture under a royalty scheme.”

Ypsomed said it’s expecting to begin delivering the injection devices to the Big Pharma in 2025. Until then, their supply agreement won’t have any material impact on Ypsomed’s finances, but it’ll begin to contribute to the company’s commercial sales totals beginning in the 2025-2026 fiscal year.

The deal will be a major boon for Ypsomed, which had previously laid out a plan to majorly expand its manufacturing capacity by 2031. This year alone, that’s included groundbreaking ceremonies for new facilities in China and Germany, as well as a plan to add hundreds of jobs to the company’s existing presence in Switzerland.

Now, with the newly announced agreement, Novo will be providing “a significant part of the investment for the new additional production infrastructure,” Ypsomed said in the release.

The devicemaker’s share price jumped about 5% upon the news of the tie-up—from a closing price of 266.50 Swiss francs (about $298) on Tuesday afternoon to 280 francs on Wednesday morning.

Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Novo Nordisk had sought further help in upping its current Wegovy supply, citing an unnamed source who said that the drugmaker has tapped contract manufacturer PCI Pharma Services to help with assembling the self-injection pens used to deliver doses of the weight loss drug.

That Reuters report came shortly after another claiming in late August that Novo had also brought Thermo Fisher Scientific aboard to help fill the Wegovy injection pens. That work would augment the support provided by another Novo contractor, Catalent, whose own Wegovy production has been slowed by multiple FDA-cited issues.