Biopharmaceuticals Research Unit (BRU)

Applying 90 years of therapeutic protein development to haemophilia, growth hormone disorders and inflammation

The Biopharmaceuticals Research Unit is focused on achieving leadership with Novo Nordisk's haemophilia pipeline, building our presence in inflammation and expanding our leadership position in the treatment of growth disorders. Scientists working in Denmark, China and the US make up the unit, working together to discover, design and develop new protein therapeutics for people living with these chronic conditions.

In our search for innovative treatment solutions, we exchange novel ideas across our international research sites, as well as in strategic alliances with researchers in academia and biotech around the world. We apply our long-standing history in protein and peptide design towards turning these ideas into investigative compounds with the potential to be further developed into new therapies that address unmet treatment needs in our focus disease areas.

Leveraging our long-standing biotechnology expertise

The Biopharmaceuticals Research Unit integrates external and internal protein- and biotechnology platforms into a powerful synergy, which constitutes the essential back-bone in the identification and early development of all new protein drug candidates. Thus, our global molecular biology, antibody, protein production-, purification- and engineering-platforms, which have been developed and fine-tuned during more than three decades of competitive research, are integrated into all new drug projects across our focus therapy areas.

Video: Our protein competencies

We aspire to change possibilities for all people with haemophilia

In 1996, Novo Nordisk launched NovoSeven®, addressing a significant unmet treatment need for people who have haemophilia with inhibitors. Using our core competencies in protein science and haemostasis biology, we have now built a broad pipeline of recombinant proteins offering improved treatment options for all people with haemophilia, regardless of their inhibitor status.

Our clinical development programmes address the need for fewer intravenous infusions and options for more convenient and less invasive administration in the acute management and prevention of bleeds. We also explore new paradigms that could potentially eliminate the risk of inhibitor formation. Our innovation in this area also includes the development of new products that can be administered subcutaneously via an easy-to-use injection device.

Developments in this latter area build on our company's long-standing heritage of developing the advanced drug delivery systems currently used by millions of people around the world for the treatment of diabetes. We are also committed to developing improved treatment options for less common bleeding disorders and have recently received regulatory approval in EU for NovoThirteen®  for people with congenital Factor XIII deficiency.

Our search for novel therapeutic targets in inflammation

We seek to identify and develop novel treatment targets for autoimmune inflammatory conditions that have the potential to add significant clinical value to the way these diseases are managed today. We do this by in-house target discovery efforts and combining our long-standing history in protein design together with mutually meaningful scientific partnerships with inflammation experts within academia and biotech.

Maintaining our leadership in the treatment of growth disorders

We remain committed to driving treatment advances for growth disorders by addressing unmet patient needs in this area such as ease of dosing and fewer injections. Our latest pre-filled device, the FlexPro® pen, is designed to simplify the administration of growth hormone treatment. We also currently have a longer-acting formulation of recombinant growth hormone in early stage clinical development, and we are committed to exploring possibilities for oral administration of human growth hormone.


Building diverse pipeline in haemophilia

Haemophilia pipeline

Discovering novel treatments in inflammation

Inflammation pipeline


Supporting future scientific minds

STAR programme


Advancing treatment research in haemophilia


Meet a haemophilia biologist working at Novo Nordisk

See video: Light at the end of the tunnel