Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 10:06 EDT

Novo Nordisk celebrates 90 years of diabetes innovation

February 19, 2013

Global leader in diabetes care recognizes anniversary of Canadian roots

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 19, 2013 /CNW/ – Danish-based pharmaceutical
company Novo Nordisk is celebrating the 90(th) anniversary of when diabetes patients were first treated with the
company’s insulin. With its Canadian headquarters in Mississauga, the
company is focused on developing new and better treatments for people
with diabetes. Now the world’s largest diabetes care company, Novo
Nordisk provides therapeutic treatments for an estimated 23 million
people with diabetes worldwide and produces approximately 50 per cent
of all insulin in the world.

Novo Nordisk’s Canadian roots run deep and can be traced back to the
University of Toronto, where Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best
first discovered insulin in 1921. In 1923, Nobel-prize winning
physiologist Dr. August Krogh was granted permission from Banting and
Best to produce insulin in Denmark, founding Nordisk
Insulinlaboratorium – the company now known as Novo Nordisk.

Since firmly establishing itself in Canada in 1983, Novo Nordisk has
earned an enviable reputation for corporate achievement, emerging as
Canada’s market leading diabetes company. Novo Nordisk has been named
among the fastest growing Top 20 Canadian research-based pharmaceutical
companies, and has earned the distinction of being a Top Employer in
the Greater Toronto Area.

“Ninety years ago, our commitment to helping those living with diabetes
began, shaping Novo Nordisk into the world leading diabetes company it
is today,” said Vince Lamanna, President, Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. “It
is important to recognize and celebrate our roots as we move forward,
striving for new innovations and advancements that help build a healthy
future for Canadians, and people around the world.”

The beginning of Novo Nordisk
During a visit to the United States in 1922, Dr. August Krogh and his
wife, Marie – a medical doctor living with diabetes – learned of the
discovery of insulin in Canada. Marie urged her husband to meet with
Professor John James Rickard Macleod at the University of Toronto, who
was leading the team of researchers behind the discovery. August and
Marie returned to Copenhagen in December 1922, bringing with them a
desire to start insulin production in Scandinavia. A few months later,
production was up and running and the first patients were treated at a
hospital in Copenhagen. This was the beginning of what Novo Nordisk is

Since then, the company has pioneered many important advances in
diabetes treatment including human insulin (1982) and the world’s first
insulin pen, NovoPen(®) (1985). Later it developed several modern insulins (insulin analogues
with improved properties) and is now also the leader in a new class of
diabetes treatments – GLP-1 therapies. In parallel, Novo Nordisk has
applied the skills it has built within diabetes on developing
biopharmaceutical products for treatment of hemophilia, growth
disorders and women’s health.

Novo Nordisk’s largest shareholder is the Novo Nordisk Foundation, a
Danish Foundation, which provides a stable basis for the company’s
activities and supports humanitarian and scientific purposes.

Making a Difference
At Novo Nordisk, patients are the priority. Novo Nordisk programs are
making positive and lasting contributions in countries around the
world, as well as right here in communities across Canada:

        --  In 1994, Novo Nordisk becomes one of the first companies in the
            world to publish an environmental report.
        --  In 2002, Novo Nordisk founded the
            World Diabetes Foundation,
            which has grown into a leading international funding agency
            supporting grassroots initiatives in the area of diabetes
            prevention and care in the developing world.
        --  In 2005, Novo Nordisk partnered with the Ontario Physical and
            Health Education Association to teach kids about the importance
            of physical activity and healthy eating as a way to prevent
        --  In 2006, Novo Nordisk joined the International Diabetes
            Federation and the Unite for Diabetes campaign to successfully
            pass a UN resolution recognizing World Diabetes Day.
        --  In 2006, Novo Nordisk is the tenth company in the world to join
            the World Wildlife Fund Climate Savers initiative, committing
            to reduce carbon emissions by 10 per cent by 2014.
        --  In 2007, the Changing Diabetes® world bus tour visits Canadian
            cities to raise awareness of diabetes.
        --  In 2008, Novo Nordisk partnered with JDRF Canada and the
            Canadian Diabetes Association to help Canadians mark World
            Diabetes Day, an important annual initiative that raises
            awareness of diabetes in communities across Canada and around
            the world.

About Diabetes in Canada
More than three million Canadians are living with diabetes, a number
that is expected to increase reach 3.7 million by 2020.(1)

About Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.
Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care
and biopharmaceuticals. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets
pharmaceutical products and services that make a significant difference
to patients, the medical profession and society. Novo Nordisk’s
business is driven by the Triple Bottom Line: a commitment to economic
success, environmental soundness, and social responsibility to
employees and customers. For more information, visit www.novonordisk.ca.

(1) Canadian Diabetes Association. “The prevalence and costs of diabetes.”
Accessed on February 8, 2013 at http://www.diabetes.ca/documents/about-diabetes/PrevalanceandCost_09.pdf.


SOURCE Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.

Source: PR Newswire