Novo Nordisk announces China Essentials 2.0 plan

Date: 06 Nov 2020

Denmark's biopharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk announced on Thursday an expansion of its "China Essentials" plan to version 2.0 during the third China International Import Expo.

The company announced in April the launch of the China Essentials program — the guidelines to integrate China into Novo Nordisk's global clinical development program and achieve simultaneous submission for global new drug applications.

China Essentials 2.0 builds upon the plan to integrate China into their global clinical R&D program that was central to version 1.0, with a further commitment to working with China's pharmaceutical innovation drivers to both improve local innovation and R&D capabilities, and improve the ability of local companies to transform research into results.

Novo Nordisk aims to support China's rising presence at the frontline of global pharmaceutical innovation, according the company.

Zhang Kezhou, corporate vice-president of the company's China arm, said two of the innovative medicines Novo Nordisk debuted at this year's CIIE were part of this program and have already submitted new drug applications in China. They are the new weekly GLP-1 injection semaglutide (Ozempic), and Xultophy, which combines the world's first long-acting basal insulin and GLP-1 receptor agonist liraglutide.

This program has also led to many new partnerships, and as of October this year, Novo Nordisk has established collaborations with 18 different departments across 15 hospitals, Zhang said.

Inspired by China's recent healthcare reforms aimed at encouraging innovation and growth, Novo Nordisk has decided to further advance their innovation strategy.

The company will accelerate the launch of many innovative drugs into China by 2025. In addition to diabetes, drugs to introduce will cover more disease areas, including obesity, hemophilia, and other chronic diseases.

By 2021, Novo Nordisk will establish comprehensive strategic partnerships with 20 hospitals across the country to build up clinical trials bases. At the same time, they will expand their diabetes and hemophilia research funds, and continue to create a high-end international academic communication platform through the Novo Nordisk's Young Scientific Talent Development Program.

Through the INNOVO open innovation platform, Novo Nordisk is working with the most dynamic local innovation drivers to accelerate the transformation of scientific research into new drugs. As of October 2020, Novo Nordisk had completed five collaborative projects, has eight more underway, and another six in negotiations. These projects focus on diabetes, obesity and other chronic diseases, and explore new technologies, such as AI-assisted research.

The company also is leveraging cutting-edge technologies to explore digital R&D, with plans for long-term cooperation on big data AI solutions with Peking University's School of Public Health Department of Biostatistics and Beijing International Center for Mathematical Research.

"I am very proud of the results we have seen from the China Essentials program, and I am excited to continue upgrading this program," said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice-president and chief science officer for Novo Nordisk.

"China has become one of the world's pharmaceutical innovation centers. Novo Nordisk will further strengthen cooperation with local innovators and universities in China, and is committed to becoming the preferred partner in China's pharmaceutical innovation ecosystem. We are helping to build China's pharmaceutical innovation ecosystem so we can further explore and develop innovative drugs for diabetes and other serious chronic diseases."

Christine Zhou, senior vice-president and president of Novo Nordisk China, said, "This year is Novo Nordisk's 26th year in China, and we have announced new measures to fulfill our China commitment at this year's CIIE, including the upgrade to China Essentials Version 2.0 we are rolling out.

"China is one of Novo Nordisk's most important markets, and we will continue to develop in China to serve more Chinese people with diabetes, and through China Essentials 2.0, help bring Chinese innovation to the world."

Source: China Daily

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