Novo Nordisk invests $4.1 billion in US factory amid Ozempic shortage, same day it withdraws from project in Ireland

Novo Nordisk A/S plans to invest $4.1 billion in another plant in the US, pouring more money into its biggest market amid growing discontent over the cost of obesity drugs and diabetes.

The project in Clayton, North Carolina, will double the company’s U.S. manufacturing footprint, adding 1.4 million square feet of space for the final stages of production, into which Novo’s drugs are poured. injection pen and consumer preparation. The Danish drugmaker said Monday that the facility will create an additional 1,000 jobs.

Novo shares rose slightly in early trading Tuesday. The stock is up nearly 85% in the past year.

The new US site is the latest in a series of multi-billion dollar investments to boost the offering of diabetes drug Ozempic and weight loss drug Wegovy, which has made Novo the biggest company in Asia. Au. Novo said it now plans to pour about $6.8 billion into production investment this year, up from $3.9 billion in 2023.

Novo is buying capacity as well as building its own. The company agreed earlier this year to acquire three plants from contract manufacturer Catalent Inc. 11 billion USD.

Competitor Eli Lilly & Co. has also spent billions of dollars to increase capacity, pledging last month 5.3 billion USD to add to the Indiana facility that produces the active ingredient in the obesity drug Zepbound and the diabetes drug Mounjaro.

Novo’s latest investment comes amid growing criticism of the company’s drug prices in the US. The country is the largest market for weight-loss drugs, both because of the scope of obesity – nearly three-quarters of adults are overweight or obese – and because drug prices in the US are higher than drug prices elsewhere in the world. gender. CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen will witness before a Senate committee chaired by Sen. Bernie Sanders in September on drug prices.

In North Carolina, a health insurance program for state employees reduce coverage for weight-loss drugs earlier this year after predicting a loss of $1.5 billion by 2030 if it continued to cover them.

Novo said the new facility will produce future treatments for obesity and other diseases as well as drugs in Novo’s current formulary. Product supply manager Henrik Wulff said manufacturing in North Carolina is fundamental to the Danish company’s growth.

Work has begun on the 56-acre Clayton property, Novo’s third in the city. It’s across the street from another Novo factory. Construction will be completed gradually, from 2027 to 2029.

Novo last year announced one 6 billion USD expanded drug ingredients factory in Kalundborg, Denmark, as well 2.5 billion USD in addition to its location in Chartres, France. On Monday, it said it had decided not to pursue a potential expansion project in Dublin.

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