DENMARK – Novo Nordisk has announced that it will broaden its existing research collaboration with MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in novel delivery technologies.

On March 9, 2022, Novo Nordisk announced an expansion of its existing research collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) focused on oral drug delivery technologies.

Since 2015, scientists from Novo Nordisk and the laboratories of Prof. Giovanni Traverso and Prof. Robert Langer have been investigating novel technologies as alternatives to syringes and pen injectors.

The collaboration has investigated new devices for the safe and effective delivery of biologic medicines via oral administration.

The collaboration has been extended until 2026, and its scope will be expanded to include the development and integration of bioelectronics, biosensors, and stimuli-responsive delivery devices.

We continue to explore the immense potential for enhanced delivery of biologic drugs and stem cell-derived therapeutics through the platforms we are developing”, said Giovanni Traverso, the Karl van Tassel, Career Development Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT.

Meanwhile, following overwhelming demand for its new Wegovy drug, Novo Nordisk has more than doubled its target for obesity drug sales by 2025.

Novo Nordisk now expects annual obesity drug sales of more than 25 billion Danish crowns (US$3.72 billion) by 2025, according to the company’s capital markets day on Thursday.

Its previous target was to more than double its 2019 obesity drug sales of 5.7 billion crowns (US$ 0.84 billion).

Wegovy, which was released in the United States in June of last year and helps to achieve weight loss of 17% on average over nearly two years, was a breakthrough for the company.

Novo Nordisk was overwhelmed by initial demand for Wegovy, leading to supply shortages.

The company took a further hit in December, when a contract manufacturer filling syringes for pens to inject the drug temporarily halted deliveries and manufacturing after issues relating to good manufacturing practice.

Novo anticipates meeting demand in the second half of this year.

Novo’s smart insulin pens

In order to improve the lives of people living with diabetes, a Novo Nordisk has launched two smart connected insulin pens in the United Kingdom.

Novo Nordisk has announced that the NovoPen 6 and NovoPen Echo Plus are now available on prescription in the United Kingdom for people with diabetes who use Novo Nordisk insulin.

The NovoPen 6 and NovoPen Echo Plus insulin injection pens record dosing information such as when and how much insulin was administered.

This data can be uploaded to a compatible app and viewed by diabetics and their healthcare providers.

Currently, information about insulin injection dosing is manually recorded in a logbook or app. In clinical practice, however, incomplete or inaccurate information on insulin dosing and timing can be a significant barrier to achieving optimal glycemic control.

The two smart connected insulin pens now allow healthcare professionals to view people with diabetes’ insulin dosing information, allowing for more productive consultations and personalized treatment guidance.

Remote access to this data may also aid in the longer-term transition from in-person to virtual care during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, which may relieve pressure on health-care capacity.

The NovoPen 6 and NovoPen Echo Plus are reusable and in line with Novo Nordisk’s Circular for Zero ambition to have zero environmental impact.

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