Novo Nordisk advised employees it was looking to hire for 615 new US positions -- a 15% expansion of its US workforce. The Danish diabetes care giant said it will be taking on new medical liaisons, diabetes educators, regional directors and business managers and increasing the size of its sales team. A company spokesperson said those numbers include the in-house support such as IT that goes along with the in-the-field jobs. The new positions come on top of those previously announced for Novo's Seattle diabetes research center and Clayton, NC, manufacturing plant.
The announcement dovetailed with a first-quarter earnings statement in which Novo touted a 10% increase in sales over the same period last year (13% in Danish Kroners). Biopharmaceutical sales lagged during the quarter, falling 1% compared with the same period last year, but the firm's stable of diabetes care treatments more than made up for that, with an 18% increase in sales compared with the same period last year. GLP-1 drug Victoza
did some heavy lifting as sales jumped 76% (81% in Danish Kroner). The company said its drug captured 62% of the GLP-1 market in February 2012, up from 39% in February 2011, and said the overall GLP-1 market rose to 4.8% in February 2012, compared to 3.4% in February 2011 – a market trend Amgen noted during last week's earnings call.
Novo raised its guidance for the year, saying it expects sales to grow between 8% and 11%, as opposed to its initial estimate of 7% to 11%.