Novo Nordisk to create one of its largest R&D hubs outside of Denmark

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/2d illustrations and photos
© GettyImages/2d illustrations and photos

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Novo Nordisk is to expand its research and development (R&D) presence in the greater Boston metro area.

The new hub, which will leverage the company’s existing presence in Lexington, Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts, will be home to the majority of Novo Nordisk’s US-based research and development activities.

Novo Nordisk anticipates adding more than 200 new jobs in the Boston area in 2023. Of these new positions, more than 150 will be lab-based and clinical development personnel in Lexington and Watertown and involved in data science, biology or chemistry research, and ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) research and clinical development.

“The Boston area is the leading center of biopharmaceutical innovation in the US. With more than 1,000 life science companies, world-renowned institutions at the forefront of scientific discovery, and leading academic institutions, the life sciences community in greater Boston has produced some of the world’s most innovative ideas in medicine,” said Marcus Schindler, PhD, executive vice president for research and early development and CSO of Novo Nordisk.

The company, he added, was now committing to further expansion, to having a major life sciences presence in the Boston area, to support pipeline expansion into new modalities.

In 2022, Novo Nordisk began to convert a 100,000 square foot (9290.3 sq m) space, which includes a new lab, adjacent to its existing facilities in Lexington. This facility will house its RNAi research and development and oral formulation units. More than 80,000 square feet of existing lab and office space will be available for use by R&D groups co-locating in Lexington. 

Job cuts 

With the establishment of greater Boston as Novo Nordisk’s principal R&D location in the US, the company will transfer its lab-based discovery activities from Seattle to other locations in the global R&D network and close the R&D facility in Indianapolis. The pharma group said those moves are expected to result in job cuts - 20 positions in Indianapolis and round 80 in Seattle.

“Novo Nordisk will be extending to affected employees the opportunity to pursue open positions at other locations.”

The Danish company said it will continue to have a presence in Seattle, with a focus on digital therapy, data science and artificial intelligence. The R&D site dedicated to manufacturing of stem cells and stem cell-based therapies will continue to be based in Fremont, California.

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