Insulin Pill for Diabetics Seen as $10 Billion Holy Grail for Novo Nordisk A/S

Published: May 23, 2012

Jackie Chaline needs four shots of insulin a day to survive. The 66-year-old Frenchwoman, who was diagnosed with diabetes 16 years ago, says switching to a pill would be a form of liberation. “Swallowing a tablet would make such a difference,” says Chaline, a former public transport agent who has gotten about 9,000 insulin shots in the past seven years. Novo Nordisk A/S (NOVOB) is trying to make Chaline’s wish, and those of millions more like her, come true. Vying with other drugmakers to develop what could be one of the biggest blockbuster drugs in years, the company is spending at least $2 billion to make an insulin pill hardy enough to cheat the body’s own defense mechanisms and deliver insulin to the bloodstream.

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