Hemophilia and growth disorder segments
To pursue leadership in the hemopilia segment and expand leadership in the growth disorder segment, Novo Nordisk is involved in several innovative research programs.
The above diagram shows Novo Nordisk’s research and development (or R&D) pipeline in the hemophilia and growth disorder segments.
In April 2015, Novo Nordisk (NVO) announced positive results from a Phase 3 clinical trial of N8-GP (turoctocog alfa pegol), a drug targeted at preventing hemophilia A and treating hemophilia A patients. Currently, Novo Nordisk is exploring the drug for prophylactic use in hemophilia A patients with reduced injection frequency. The company expects to submit N8-GP for regulatory approval in 2018.
Novo Nordisk is also exploring once-weekly injections of N9-GP (nonacog beta pegol) in hemophilia B patients. Phase 3a clinical trials proved that the drug reduced bleeding in patients on a par with medications that require more frequent injections. N9-GP was also tested for prophylactic use. Results of the clinical trial were that patients reported improved quality of life. Novo Nordisk plans to submit N9-GP for regulatory approval in the second half of 2015.
The company also has another investigational drug, concizumab, in its early-stage pipeline. Concizumab targets hemophilia A and hemophilia B patients and inhibitor patients.
To further strengthen the production capacity of hemophilia drugs, Novo Nordisk acquired a production plant in New Hampshire. This will help the company compete with other hemophilia-targeted companies such as Baxter (BAX), Biogen (BIIB), and Pfizer (PFE).
Growth disorder drugs
Novo Nordisk is exploring NN8640, a once-weekly human growth hormone. Its usage frequency is less than Norditropin and peers’ growth hormone drugs that have to be injected daily. If NN8640 is approved, it’s expected to be a major commercial success in the growth disorder market.
You can get diversified exposure to Novo Nordisk’s strong hemophilia and growth disorder R&D pipeline and still avoid excessive risks by investing in the VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH). Novo Nordisk accounts for 5.05% of PPH’s total holdings.