The impending US launch in H1 2009 of liraglutide, Novo Nordisk's next powerhouse product in the diabetes area, will require a considerable sales effort, and the company is busy preparing to rise to the challenge, writes financial daily newspaper Børsen. Last year, Novo Nordisk took on 700 more sales representatives, bringing its US salesforce total to around 1,900.
How many more Novo Nordisk will add to its US sales army has not yet been decided, but investment bank Credit Suisse puts the likely number somewhere between 200 and 800. Novo Nordisk's salesforce currently covers approx. 80% of US doctors prescribing injectables for diabetes treatment, and around 70% of those prescribing treatment in tablet form.
Liraglutide is in the GLP-1 (Glucagon-Like-Peptide-1) class of drugs. US competitor Eli Lilly was first to market with a GLP-1 drug, Byetta, but Novo Nordisk's drug is reckoned to control blood sugar better and enable patients to lose more weight. Liraglutide also has the advantage of once daily dosage, compared with Byetta's twice-daily dosage.
Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care. It also has a leading position in haemostasis management, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs more than 26,000 people in 79 countries, and markets its products in 180 countries. Novo Nordisk’s B shares are listed on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen and London.