Global leader in diabetes care recognizes anniversary of Canadian roots
Feb. 19, 2013
/CNW/ - Danish-based pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk is celebrating the 90
anniversary of when diabetes patients were first treated with the company's insulin. With its Canadian headquarters in
, the company is focused on developing new and better treatments for people with diabetes. Now the world's largest diabetes care company, Novo Nordisk provides therapeutic treatments for an estimated 23 million people with diabetes worldwide and produces approximately 50 per cent of all insulin in the world.
Novo Nordisk's Canadian roots run deep and can be traced back to the
University of Toronto
, where Sir
first discovered insulin in 1921. In 1923, Nobel-prize winning physiologist Dr.
was granted permission from Banting and Best to produce insulin in
, founding Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium - the company now known as Novo Nordisk.
Since firmly establishing itself in
in 1983, Novo Nordisk has earned an enviable reputation for corporate achievement, emerging as
market leading diabetes company. Novo Nordisk has been named among the fastest growing Top 20 Canadian research-based pharmaceutical companies, and has earned the distinction of being a Top Employer in the
Greater Toronto Area
"Ninety years ago, our commitment to helping those living with diabetes began, shaping Novo Nordisk into the world leading diabetes company it is today," said
, President, Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. "It is important to recognize and celebrate our roots as we move forward, striving for new innovations and advancements that help build a healthy future for Canadians, and people around the world."
The beginning of Novo Nordisk
During a visit to
the United States
in 1922, Dr.
and his wife, Marie - a medical doctor living with diabetes - learned of the discovery of insulin in
. Marie urged her husband to meet with Professor
John James Rickard Macleod
University of Toronto
, who was leading the team of researchers behind the discovery. August and Marie returned to
, bringing with them a desire to start insulin production in Scandinavia. A few months later, production was up and running and the first patients were treated at a hospital in
. This was the beginning of what Novo Nordisk is today.
Since then, the company has pioneered many important advances in diabetes treatment including human insulin (1982) and the world's first insulin pen, NovoPen
(1985). Later it developed several modern insulins (insulin analogues with improved properties) and is now also the leader in a new class of diabetes treatments - GLP-1 therapies. In parallel, Novo Nordisk has applied the skills it has built within diabetes on developing biopharmaceutical products for treatment of hemophilia, growth disorders and women's health.
Novo Nordisk's largest shareholder is the Novo Nordisk Foundation, a Danish Foundation, which provides a stable basis for the company's activities and supports humanitarian and scientific purposes.