The plans revealed four “Transformational Research Units” will operate as “satellites” of its current operations. A spokesperson for Novo Nordisk confirmed that two of the new centres will be based in Copenhagen, where the Danish company already holds operations.
One other site will join the company’s Oxford Research Centre in the UK and the last site will be based in Indianapolis, US.
Each location will focus on a different therapeutic area, with the Copenhagen sites looking into stem cell research, haematology and endocrinology disorders. The Oxford site will specialise in cardio-metabolic research while the Indianapolis space will focus on the company’s core focus area of diabetes, as well as obesity.
The new developments will be funded through cost savings made by the loss of 400 members of staff across its Danish and Chinese operations.
As part of the announcement, the company also revealed that it would take on a new digital focus to its molecule selection and development, in a trend that is beginning to gain momentum across the industry.
Novo Nordisk noted that its digital push would involve using machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve the efficiency of its R&D.
The spokesperson could not confirm to us how much would be invested in this part of the business but said the move would “lead to an expansion of [its] internal organisation working with digitalisation (both in Denmark and globally) and also an increased external activity level, e.g. in the form of collaborations focusing on digital drug discovery.”
Outside of its four new bases, it will also set up a “Business Development unit” in Cambridge, Massachusetts, adding to the growing number of companies heading to the state. This unit will have a focus on developing external collaborations, as referenced by the spokesperson.