The expansion will allow the Danish firm to manufacture “a new generation of disposable insulin pens” delivered as “autodosers” to provide people with diabetes “a more convenient way to manage their health and engage in a healthy lifestyle,” said Jerzy Gruhn, president of Novo Nordisk.
“The investment to expand our Clayton facility is another example of our commitment to improving diabetes treatment options in the US by ensuring patients have access to the latest advances in treatment,” he commented.
In 1985, the company created the first insulin pen device and has since worked with physicians and patients to explore the benefits of modern delivery alternatives to vials and syringes, by considering ease of use, dosing accuracy, and ultimately, adherence rates.
Since the launch of the pen 25 years ago, the devices have now become the most widely used form of insulin delivery both outside and inside of the US.
“As patients in the US continue to move from administering insulin with a conventional vial and syringe to using a pen device, Novo Nordisk will be prepared to meet growing market demand,” said Gruhn.
205 jobs created
Novo Nordisk say 205 new jobs will be created after the expansion goes ahead, including an additional 85 at the Clayton facility where the company’s Levemir FlexPen is currently being produced, along with other products from the firm's diabetes range. The Levemir FlexPen is an injection which contains insulin detemir from rDNA origin.
More than 450 employees are working at the Clayton site to produce six different diabetes treatment products, and staff at the unit are responsible for overseeing the entire drug production process, from formulation through to packaging and distribution.
The company has specified that the $73m investment will contribute towards building modifications and two new final assembly lines, as well as two packing lines.
Novo Nordisk selected the Clayton site for the expansion over its other facilities in the US and further afield, after taking into account cost, productivity and the amount of support provided by local and state resources.
Gruhn told in-PharmaTechnologist that the company expects support to come in the shape of employment recruiting and screening, community college training assistance, a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG), the One North Carolina Fund, and Article 3J Tax Credits.
The approval of such grants is also based on Novo Nordisk and Nypro, a precision plast moulding company, pooling a total investment of $161m in the project. Nypro is contributing $88m towards this sum.