Diabetes Wiki

Logo of Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk is one of the major manufacturers of insulin, and has a broad portfolio of diabetes products.

Founded in Denmark in 1923, Novo Nordisk now has production facilities in six countries, with affiliates or offices in 68 countries.

Novo Nordisk is a sponsor of the International Diabetes Federation's Unite for Diabetes campaign — a campaign that has successfully achieved a UN Resolution on Diabetes.

They also launched the Novo Nordisk Changing Diabetes World Tour — a truck that folds out into an educational and awareness-developing bus. The vehicle was launched in Copenhagen in September 2005 and has visited Europe, Africa, and Australia.


Novo Nordisk was created in 1989 through a merger between two Danish companies – Novo Industri A/S and Nordisk Gentofte A/S.

  • 1923 Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium (later Nordisk Gentofte) founded.
  • 1925 Novo Terapeutisk Laboratorium (later Nordisk Industri) founded.
  • 1932 Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium founds the Steno Memorial Hospital.
  • 1938 Novo founds Hvidøre Diabetes Sanatorium.
  • 1946 Nordisk develops Isophane insulin NPH insulin, a neutral insulin with prolonged action.
  • 1953 Lente – a long-acting insulin zinc suspension – is launched.
  • 1973 Monocomponent (MC) insulin is introduced – the purest insulin available.
  • 1982 Human monocomponent insulin is launched – the world’s first insulin preparation identical to human insulin. It is extracted from the pancreas of pigs and converted to human insulin.
  • 1985 NovoPen – an injection system similar in appearance to a fountain pen, with replaceable insulin cartridges – is launched.
  • 1987 Novo starts production of human insulin with the help of genetically engineered yeast cells.
  • 1989 Novo Industri A/S and Nordisk Gentofte A/S merge to become the world’s leading producer of insulin.
  • 1989 NovoLet – the world’s first prefilled insulin syringe – is marketed.
  • 1992 The Steno Memorial Hospital and Hvidøre Hospital merge to form the Steno Diabetes Center.
  • 1998 NovoNorm/Prandin, a new oral treatment for type 2 diabetes, is launched in the US and a number of European countries.
  • 1999 Innovo, the world’s first insulin doser with a built-in electronic memory, is launched in Europe.
  • 1999 NovoRapid (NovoLog in the US) – the first rapid-acting insulin analogue – is marketed.
  • 2000 Novo Nordisk is split into three separate companies operating under the umbrella of the Novo Group: Novo Nordisk A/S, Novozymes A/S and Novo A/S.
  • 2001 InnoLet – the first insulin delivery system specially designed to suit the needs of insulin users with poor eyesight and reduced dexterity – is launched.
  • 2001 InDuo – the world’s first combined blood glucose monitor and insulin injection system – is introduced.
  • 2001 NovoRapid FlexPen and Insulatard FlexPens, prefilled pens designed to be easy and discreet to use, are marketed.
  • 2001 Novo Nordisk acquires the controlling interest in the Brazilian pharmaceutical company Biobrás.
  • 2002 NovoMix 30 FlexPen, a dual-release insulin analogue, is released.
  • 2004 Levemir – a long-acting insulin analogue – is launched.

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