Novo Nordisk pledges $6bn to expand Wegovy production

The expansion will bolster API capacity at its manufacturing facilities in Kalundborg, Denmark to meet future demands for weight-loss drug Wegovy.  

Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk announced the investment of over 42 billion Danish kroner ($6 billion) to expand its manufacturing facilities in Kalundborg as the company marked the 100th anniversary of its presence in Denmark.

The firm said the expansion – expected to start this year – will contribute to growing additional capacity with most of the funding going towards increasing active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) capabilities.

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The 170,000 square meter facility is said to have been designed to meet current and future process demands. There is capacity for its GLP-1 products, which includes weight-loss blockbuster Wegovy and diabetes drug Ozempic.

“The API investment includes GLP-1 products and that would include Wegovy. While significant, this investment will not be complete until 2029,” Herik Wulff, executive vice president, Product Supply, Quality & IT, Novo Nordisk told BioProcess Insider.

“We continue to invest to ramp up supply for Wegovy and as we said last week during earnings, we continue to expect short to mid-term supply constraints. The release also says we expect to create 800 new jobs by the completion of the project.”

In its Q3 financial results call, Novo Nordisk reported Wegovy sales had increased by 481% (measured in Danish kroner) and said the “sales growth was driven by both North America Operations and International Operations. Wegovy has been launched in the US, Denmark, Norway, Germany, UK, and Iceland.”

Activities in Denmark

Novo Nordisk has added significant amounts of capacity in Denmark over the past two years. In September, the Novo Nordisk Foundation – the charitable arm of Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk – invested DKK 950 million ($135 million) to create a facility in Lyngby, Denmark for the final advancement steps and upscaling of cell therapies for testing in humans.

In June, Novo Nordisk announced an expansion its site in Hillerød, Denmark site to create additional production capacity to meet future demands for its late-phase chronic diseases products. The DKK 15.9 billion ($2.3 billion) expansion is expected to facilitate the production of APIs and contribute to Novo Nordisk’s future clinical product portfolio.

In 2021, the firm pledged $2.5 billion to build three additional facilities at its Kalundborg site, which was already subject to a $117 million investment the year prior. DKK 5.4 billion ($74 million) was also invested in clinical manufacturing in Bagsværd in 2022.