Novo Nordisk Snaps Up Purdue Manufacturing Site in North Carolina

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Novo Nordisk is taking over a Purdue Pharmaceuticals manufacturing facility in North Carolina to manufacture its type-2 diabetes treatment, semaglutide.

Denmark-based Novo Nordisk struck a deal with embattled Purdue Pharma for the Treyburn site over the weekend. In a letter sent to employees, first posted by Raleigh-based WRAL, Purdue Chief Executive Officer Craig Landau said the decision to sell the plant was made following an evaluation of the company’s manufacturing operations and capabilities. Purdue said the Treyburn facility was established in 2015 as a back-up solid oral dose manufacturing facility for its Wilson, N.C. operations. However, due to market dynamics and “expected demand for our current portfolio of marketed products,” Landau said the continued operation of the Treyburn site can no longer be justified. With the strength of operations at its Wilson site, Landau said the company reached an agreement to sell the Treyburn facility to Novo Nordisk. Purdue intends to vacate the site by Dec. 1 of this year.

The move casts doubt on the fate of the 80 employees who currently work at the facility. Purdue has not addressed the fate of those employees. A company spokesperson told WRAL that it does not speak publicly regarding its long-term strategy. It is possible that the employees at the Treyburn facility could be shifted to the Wilson site. Not only is the fate of the Purdue employees unknown at this time, the two companies did not disclose the price of the transaction. According to reports, Purdue built the 188,000 square-foot facility for about $59 million.

Novo Nordisk told Reuters that the Treyburn facility, which is near Durham in the heart of the Research Triangle Park, will develop a tablet version of semaglutide, marketed as Ozempic. This summer at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 79th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco, Novo Nordisk presented data from multiple trials that showcased the strength of its oral formulation of semaglutide as a treatment for type 2 diabetes.

The Treyburn facility is expected to bolster the manufacturing needs of the diabetes drug. Novo Nordisk is also building another facility in North Carolina to support its global manufacturing operations.

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Henrik Steen Jensen, Novo Nordisk’s corporate vice president, told Reuters that the company has a goal to build a strong manufacturing business in the United States in order to “establish a local U.S. supply chain for oral semaglutide and other future oral products.” Novo filed for approval of oral semaglutide in March. The company is seeking regulatory approval of the once-daily glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. Novo Nordisk submitted a priority review voucher for this New Drug Application with an anticipated review time of six months. Additionally, the company is seeking additional approval for an indication to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, or death in adults with type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease.

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