Drugmaker Novo Nordisk, Indonesia’s Bio Farma sign deal to produce insulin

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Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk has signed a deal with Indonesia’s state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma to produce insulin to combat diabetes in the Southeast Asian country, a Bio Farma senior official said on Wednesday.

Novo Nordisk has made international news in recent months for its popular diabetes drug Ozempic and is known for being one of the world’s biggest producers of insulin.

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Novo Nordisk said in its 2023 annual report that the company has been expanding efforts to address diabetes care in Asia, increasing enrolments of children in India, Indonesia and other countries in one program.

Soleh Ayubi, Bio Farma’s deputy chief executive officer, told Reuters by telephone that Bio Farma and Novo Nordisk have signed a memorandum of understanding in which the two companies will produce insulin in the country.

The investment value or when production will start are still being finalized, Soleh said, adding this is the first of Novo Nordisk’s manufacturing deals in Indonesia.

Novo Nordisk will provide the “expertise in diabetes treatment and insulin production” while Bio Farma will provide local manufacturing facilities, Bio Farma said in a statement.

Sreerekha Sreenivasan, vice president and general manager of
Novo Nordisk in Indonesia, said in the same statement the deal “strengthens our commitment in Indonesia.”

There are over 19 million Indonesians with diabetes or 10.8 percent of its total adult population of nearly 180 million people, 2021 data from the International Diabetes Federation shows.

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