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Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO) Leapfrogs GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) To Take Spot As Europe's Fourth Largest Drugmaker By Market Value

8/5/2014 6:52:07 AM

Novo Nordisk Leapfrogs GlaxoSmithKline To Take Spot As Europe's Fourth Largest Drugmaker By Market Value Novo Nordisk Leapfrogs GlaxoSmithKline To Take Spot As Europe's Fourth Largest Drugmaker By Market Value
August 5, 2014
By Krystle Vermes, Breaking News Staff

Today, Novo Nordisk (NVO) became Europe’s fourth largest drug maker in market value, partly due to a slump in sales for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

GlaxoSmithKline’s primary product, the Advair inhaler, did not sell as well as necessary to keep the company in high standing. In turn, the drug maker needed to lower its full-year forecast on July 23 to adjust, and GlaxoSmithKline’s stock had its biggest weekly drop since 2008. Novo Nordisk was able to capitalize on the opportunity to move up the list.

Novo Nordisk has maintained its position as the world’s largest producer of insulin. Its market capitalization has risen to $120 billion, while GlaxoSmithKline’s value has declined to $117 billion. Throughout the last decade, Novo Nordisk has seen its insulin sales increase by 14 percent each year.

The company continues to develop products geared toward individuals with diabetes. As of 2012, approximately 9.3 percent of the U.S. population had a form of diabetes. About 1.7 million new cases of diabetes are being diagnosed per year.
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Novo Nordisk’s Xultophy

At the end of July, Novo Nordisk debuted Xultophy to European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use. This drug is aimed at treating symptoms of type II diabetes in patients.

The CHMP recommended the approval of Xultophy in combination with glucose-lowering drugs. The European Commission is expected to announce its stance on the drug by October 2014. Novo Nordisk is looking to launch Xultophy in Europe in the first half of 2015.

This past July, Novo Nordisk brought its first insulin device to the U.S. The Levemir FlexTouch is designed to provide a low injection of insulin to its users without the use of a push button extension. The device contains 300 units of insulin detemir, which can be given as a dose in one-unit increments.

The Levemir FlexTouch can work with both the NovoFine and NovoTwist needles, but some needles may require a prescription according to state laws. Novo Nordisk has been selling this device in Europe since 2011, and it is also available in Canada, Denmark and Japan.

As Novo Nordisk looks to extend its reach over into the U.S., Europe continues to be a more approving market for the drug maker. Now that it has surpassed GlaxoSmithKline in its effort to climb to the top, it’s hard to see Novo Nordisk slowing down any time soon.

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