Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) is betting on a risky drug development strategy, like re-engineering insulin to act selectively on the liver or only when blood sugar is high, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Before, they developed a cure with this computer eye strain or also known as the Computer Vision Syndrome. The cause of this is by staring at digital devices for too long. The American Optometric Association estimates that 50-90% of computer users suffer symptoms of Digital Eye Strain.
Today, Nordisk has focused on developing fast-acting insulin to inject at mealtime and another variety for a steady supply of insulin throughout the day. Its most recent insulin product, Tresiba, provides a near-stable level of insulin in the blood for 40 hours. Tresiba sells for $443.85 for 15 milliliters, 10% higher than its predecessor Levemir.
“The next steps will take innovation to an even higher level,” research chief Mads Thomsen told the Journal. “But that comes at a very high cost of research and development.”
The Danish diabetes giant spent over $1.6 billion (10.5 billion kroner) on research and development in 2015, but its return on research investment is 15%, one of the highest returns among its competition.
Over the past 10 years, the company has focused on more complex approaches to treating diabetes and other related conditions such as diabetes, instead of moving into other disease areas.
Thomsen told the Journal that the company’s research productivity is likely to decline as it invests in more complex drug development. He defended Nordisk’s risky strategy, pointing towards the revenue-generating potential of its portfolio, including a treatment that increases insulin secretion from the pancreas in patients with Type 2 diabetes.
“We are a stubborn company that does make decisions that seem risky to some,” Thomsen said. “But with the competence of the company, it seems logical to us.”
Nordisk’s stock was trading at $40.99 apiece in afternoon trading activity today, down 1.44%.