Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company, has announced a significant investment in a French production site to expand its capacity, including for its blockbuster anti-obesity drug. The company plans to invest more than 15 billion Danish kroner ($2.3 billion) in an existing facility in Chartres, southwest of Paris, following the official sealing of the deal with President Emmanuel Macron.
The investment aims to substantially increase the manufacturing site’s capacity to meet the growing demand for innovative medicines. Novo Nordisk, currently the European Union’s most valuable company with a market capitalization of around $460 billion, has seen increased use of its anti-diabetes drugs as weight-loss derivatives, particularly its Semaglutide medication. Originally developed for diabetes treatment, Semaglutide has also proven effective in combating obesity, presenting massive global potential.
The drug, marketed as Wegovy in the United States, Denmark, Norway, and Germany, helps individuals with chronic overweight issues by stimulating insulin secretion and acting as an appetite suppressant. Goldman Sachs, a financial firm, predicts that the global market for anti-obesity medication (AOM) could reach $100 billion by 2030, a significant increase from its current value of approximately $6 billion. Obesity rates have nearly tripled worldwide since 1975, and they are projected to continue rising.
Goldman Sachs forecasts that by 2030, around 15 million adults in the United States alone will receive anti-obesity treatment, with Novo Nordisk and rival company Eli Lilly identified as the world’s two dominant AOM manufacturers by that time. The investment in the French site will enable Novo Nordisk to double its size, creating an additional 500 job opportunities to supplement the existing 1,600 workforce. The focus of the investment mainly lies in the production of diabetes drugs, cartridges, and vials, with a target completion date set for 2028.
Earlier this month, Novo Nordisk also revealed a 42 billion Danish kroner investment to expand its facilities in Denmark. The French presidency credits President Macron’s efforts to attract foreign industrial investment to France for securing the Novo Nordisk deal. Macron celebrated the investment, stating that it is one of the largest industrial investments in the country this year. He emphasized the importance of such investments in achieving industrial and health sector sovereignty.
This move by Novo Nordisk follows other major investment pledges in France, such as the 6.7-billion-euro ($7.3 billion) commitment from Asian companies for the production and recycling of electric batteries. Additionally, US pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced a 500 million euro investment in May during the Choose France investment conference attended by President Macron. These investments reflect the French government’s efforts to bring pharmaceutical production back to the country, prompted by recent drug shortages, including essentials like antibiotics and pain medications.
Novo Nordisk expects to obtain full regulatory approval to sell Wegovy as an anti-obesity drug in France next year, further expanding its market reach and contributing to the fight against obesity globally.
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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