Manufacturing Novo Nordisk invests $560 million to increase Chinese medicine...

Novo Nordisk invests $560 million to increase Chinese medicine production


Novo Nordisk, a prominent player in the pharmaceutical industry, is commemorating three decades of operations in China, coinciding with the potential approval of its highly coveted weight loss injection, Wegovy, in the Chinese market. This milestone is significant given China’s escalating rates of obesity and diabetes, making it a pivotal market for Novo Nordisk’s innovative pharmaceuticals.
In a bid to fortify its position, Novo Nordisk is channeling around 4 billion yuan, approximately $556 million, into expanding its Tianjin facility, which has been operational since 1994. This expansion primarily focuses on enhancing sterile preparation capabilities and is scheduled for completion by 2027, aiming to cater to the escalating demand for advanced medications among Chinese patients.

The decision to ramp up manufacturing capacity in China aligns seamlessly with Novo Nordisk’s strategic objectives, especially in anticipation of Wegovy’s impending approval in the country later this year. As highlighted by Christine Zhou Xiaoping, Novo’s China business head, the product launch will initially target self-paying patients.
Novo Nordisk’s longstanding presence in Tianjin traces back to 1994, and recent investments mirror the surge in demand for its diabetes and weight loss therapies. In early 2023, the company earmarked 1.18 billion yuan ($164 million) to expand its finished product workshop and introduce a production line dedicated to pre-filled injection pens.
The latest undertaking by Novo Nordisk integrates cutting-edge isolator technology to streamline the production process for sterile drugs. Besides Tianjin, the company also houses a research and development hub in Beijing, showcasing its unwavering commitment to fostering innovation and advancing healthcare solutions in China.

This investment in China is integral to Novo Nordisk’s broader strategy for global manufacturing expansion. In addition to the substantial investment in Denmark’s production campus, the company announced significant expansion plans in France and made headlines with its acquisition of Catalent for a staggering $16.5 billion. This acquisition encompasses Catalent’s fill-finish plants across Italy, Belgium, and the U.S., signaling Novo Nordisk’s proactive stance in bolstering its manufacturing capabilities on a global scale.

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