From molecule to product
In Novo Nordisk Research & Development (R&D), it is our responsibility to take an innovative research idea and turn it into a product that makes a real life-changing difference to people with serious chronic conditions.
Our mission is to continuously upgrade the quality of patient treatment through the discovery and development of new and innovative products. Products that support the company’s vision to remain the world leader in diabetes care and maintain a leadership status in the treatment of haemophilia and growth hormone deficiencies. We are also committed to growing our pipeline in new areas like chronic inflammatory diseases and obesity.
Our competitive edge
We leverage our expertise in developing therapeutic proteins, which is backed by more than 85 years of experience. We apply our unique combination of skills in this area - from protein engineering and expression to formulation and delivery. This gives Novo Nordisk a competitive edge in the pharmaceutical industry and brings patients new safe, effective and convenient treatment options.
Over 3,500 employees work within R&D at Novo Nordisk, both in Denmark and at our other R&D sites around the world including the US and China. This number is expected to grow significantly in the coming years due to the continuing expansion of our R&D activities. We also collaborate closely with our Clinical Development Centres around the world where more than 1,000 employees work.
In Novo Nordisk R&D you will get the opportunity to work in an inspiring work environment, with colleagues who are best in their field and with state-of-the-art technology. You will work on pharmaceutical products that have the potential to make a real difference to both patients and society. Joining Novo Nordisk R&D could be your springboard for a life-changing career.
Our passion for proteins
An ambitious company
Novo Nordisk has been developing therapeutic proteins for over 85 years Upon this solid foundation we continue to develop new treatments for diabetes.
At the same time we are also broadening our portfolio to include further treatments for haemophilia, growth hormone deficiency and menopause and treatments for chronic inflammatory conditions.
Progress in innovation
Our pipeline is focused on three key treatment areas: insulins, recombinant factor VII analogues and growth hormone. We are also exploring other interesting treatment areas like GLP-1 analogues, other coagulation factors and the use of monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions like psoriasis.
To pursue the latter goal, we have established an inflammation research centre in Seattle, US. From here we will work to build our pipeline through a combination of innovation, partnerships with other companies and in-licensing of promising drug candidates.
Our Device R&D unit continues to add value to all of these therapy areas by innovating new devices designed to meet treatment and patient needs.
Our proficiency in protein technology and delivery enables us to advance the treatment of diabetes through the development of new generations of insulin products.
These products offer additional clinical and/or convenience benefits to patients. We have also launched the first human GLP-1 analogue to be approved for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes, liraglutide (Victoza®).
In the area of haemophilia we are developing new treatments and treatment formulations that offer better efficacy, more flexibility and further independence to people with haemophilia.
Our Device R&D unit continues to support our product line with award-winning design. We have launched several innovative products. For instance the next generation FlexPen®, which is the leading prefilled pen device for diabetes treatment worldwide. The innovative NovoTwist® is a new simple way to attach needles to our devices. Our latest device, the FlexPro® is a prefilled growth hormone injection pen to be used by children and adults.
A diverse team
Whether your ambition is to be challenged everyday, make a successful move from academia to industry, or to pursue a rewarding job that makes a real difference, Novo Nordisk’s R&D organisation could be the perfect place for you.
It takes all types of people to develop an idea into a marketable product. Among the people we are looking for are those with the following skills:
basic and applied science
analysis and formulation
technical device design
clinical trial design and management
clinical and regulatory documentation and new product strategy sourcing
... to name but a few!
You will therefore find a broad range of personalities working in Novo Nordisk R&D. This ranges from individuals who prefer to spend their day in a lab behind a microscope to those who travel around the world sharing the company’s vision, as well as scientific and clinical experience with potential partners or researching the market potential for innovative new product ideas.
The one common denominator in our R&D organisation is every employee’s commitment to developing high quality products that improve the lives of people with serious chronic diseases.
If you share this commitment, then you should consider joining us!
By working in R&D at Novo Nordisk, you will have the opportunity to play a role in bringing innovation to the marketplace in a way that makes a real difference to both patients and society.
With access to state-of-the art technology and the opportunity to develop both professional and personal skills through on-the-job training and internal and external training courses, many people have found that working in our R&D organisation is the perfect springboard to a life-changing career.
Great people, great teams
Our culture inspires a great team spirit with professional and talented colleagues. We have an open and friendly atmosphere with excellent communication within and between teams, which fosters a fun and productive environment. We are achievers and have a high level of productivity – we deliver on time. We believe our products provide new and advanced safety-efficiency profiles to patients – and when we meet our patients we fully appreciate what a great responsibility we have.
Working here you will have the potential to build an invaluable network of experts, including highly competent colleagues - many of whom are world-renowned experts in their field – and international key opinion leaders in major disease areas.
Developing your talent
In R&D everyone has opportunities for development. There are many different career paths available within R&D. Every employee has an individual development plan that enables you to set both short-term and long-term goals for your career within the company.
In addition, every employee has an individual development plan that enables you to set both short-term and long-term goals for your career within the company.
Moving to industry
For some people, the move from academia or private practice to the pharmaceutical industry is a big step. However, we believe that at Novo Nordisk we combine the best of both worlds: academia and industry.
Scientists at Novo Nordisk have a clear purpose and a shared objective to influence the medical treatment of tomorrow. With access to state-of-the-art technology we are able to fast track from basic/applied research to new innovative medicines. What’s more, scientists who have moved here from academia have said they experience more freedom to do research than they would have expected before joining the company.
Ethical business conduct
We pride ourselves on being a highly ethical company. The way we conduct business is described in the The Novo Nordisk Way – and every business decision we make is made in accordance with the Triple Bottom Line. While we aim to bring new, innovative products to the market as fast as possible, patient safety takes priority so we don’t just do things the fast way, we do them the smart way.
By joining our R&D organisation you will have the potential to help change the lives of millions of people around the world. But don’t just take our word for it. Read what some of our employees has to say about working here: Lotte, Katja, Raul, and Maria.
The STAR programme
Take a look at our R&D Science, Talent, Attraction and Recruitment (STAR) programme, which grants PhD or PostDoc fellowships to bright students in biotechnology, engineering, medical and life sciences, who want to pursue a career in R&D.
There are currently over 3,500 employees working within R&D across the organisation, both in Denmark in the US and China. In addition more than 1,000 employees work in our Clinical Development Centres around the world.
Our R&D organisation is made up of the following areas:
Diabetes Research Unit
Biopharmaceutical Research Unit
Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control Supply
These six R&D areas are supported by two staff functions: Competitive Intelligence and Strategic R&D.
The Hagedorn Research Institute (HRI), a diabetes research facility in Gentofte, Denmark, is also a part of the Novo Nordisk. It serves as a strategic hub for early drug discovery research for our Diabetes Research Unit. At HRI there are departments within insulin, incretin and beta cell biology and diabetes inflammation and genetics. HRI employees include scientists, postdocs, PhD students, master’s students and research technicians working in diabetes research.
As part of our global network of collaborators, we have research and clinical development centres in four countries around the world. In fact, we were the first international pharmaceutical company to have a research centre in China.
In Denmark the total R&D value chain is covered ranging from basic and applied science, analysis and formulation, device innovation, project management, clinical trial management to regulatory affairs. The R&D organisation is located on five different sites in the greater Copenhagen area.
Zürich is the headquarters for Novo Nordisk Europe and International Operations and the Clinical Development Centre Europe.
Seattle, Washington is the location of Novo Nordisk’s Inflammation Research Centre.
Princeton, New Jersey is the US headquarters for Novo Nordisk, hosts regulatory and global development inflammation units and is the location for the US Clinical Development Centre.
Beijing is the location of the Chinese headquarters of Novo Nordisk and also an R&D centre location.
Beijing is also the location for the Clinical Development Centre covering International Operations.
Tokyo is the location for the Japanese headquarters for Novo Nordisk and also the Clinical Development Centre Japan.
Talent in Novo Nordisk
Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Chief Science Officer at Novo Nordisk, talks about the need to attract the best scientific talent from around the world.
Read more about our R&D strategy and research pipeline, our passion for proteins and our latest research publications at our dedicated R&D website.