News Releases

Sep. 16, 2004

Licensing of "Repaglinide" from Novo Nordisk

Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals, Co., Ltd. announces that it has concluded a license agreement with Novo Nordisk A/S (Denmark) for the anti-diabetic agent, Repaglinide (generic name) which will enable Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals to develop and market the drug in Japan.

Repaglinide is an anti-diabetic agent currently marketed by Novo Nordisk A/S in more than 80 countries in the world with the brand name "Prandin" in the USA "Gluconorm" in Canada and "NovoNorm" in other countries. The product is one in a group of anti-diabetic agents known as meglitinides, a rapid acting insulin secretagogue, which improves post-prandial blood glucose levels, an important parameter in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. This is achieved by increasing insulin secretion after meals.

With this agreement, Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals now takes over the development of Repaglinide in Japan, previously initiated by Novo Nordisk Pharma Ltd., the Japanese subsidiary of Novo Nordisk A/S.

Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle-related disease, with the number of people affected by it going up worldwide. This therapeutic area is an important R&D target for Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals, which has "Glucophage" (metformin), licensed from Merck Sante s.a.s., in the development stage and several other development candidates in the R&D pipeline. Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals also has "Melbin", a metformin product in the market already and an application has been filed for the introduction of a smaller size tablet.

Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals has planned to conduct all necessary clinical studies to achieve early launch of Repaglinide, and wishes to contribute to better treatment of diabetic patients by adding Repaglinide to its product pipeline.

About Novo Nordisk A/S

Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care. The company has the broadest diabetes product portfolio in the industry, including the most advanced products within the area of insulin delivery systems. In addition, Novo Nordisk has a leading position within areas such as haemostasis management, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services that make a significant difference to patients, the medical profession and society. With headquarters in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 18,800 full-time employees in 69 countries, and markets its products in 179 countries. Novo Nordisk's B shares are listed on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen and London. Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'NVO'. For more information about Novo Nordisk visit

President and CEO : Lars Rebien Sørensen
Head Office : Bagsværd, Denmark
Date of Establishment : 1923
Annual Net Sales : DKK 26,541 million (December, 2003)
Number of Employees : 18,750 (December, 2003)
Principal Operations : Manufacture and sale of pharmaceuticals and medical equipments