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Novolin-vial

Novolin 70/30-one of the insulins made by Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk A/S is a Danish company that makes and sells insulin and diabetic products worldwide, since 1922. (Insulin was discovered in Toronto in 1921, and Novo became the first commercial manufacturer. See link below for the history of insulin. [1])

In the beginning, there were two separate companies-Novo, founded in 1923, and Nordisk, founded in 1922. Both were involved in the production of insulin. Nordisk's old insulin brand was Leo. [2] Not until 1989 did the two companies merge, creating the Novo Nordisk of today. [3]

In 1946, a Novo scientist named Hagedorn discovered a new way to extend the activity time of R/neutral insulin--by suspending the crystals in protamine. One of the names for this suspension honors him today--NPH is an abbreviation for Neutral Protamine Hagedorn.

Novo was at the forefront once more in 1953 when it discovered a way to suspend insulin crystals with zinc. This solved the problem for many with allergies/sensitivities to NPH's protamine-based suspension. The result was an insulin which lasted as long as NPH but less allergenic. Novo patented the zinc process as Lente, using the Italian word for "slow" as its name. The Lente family of insulins are Semilente, Lente, and Ultralente.

Wal-Mart and Sam's Club sold pharmaceuticals under their "house brand" name of ReliOn from 2000 to 2010. Novo Nordisk [4] produced 3 types of R-DNA/GE/GM insulin: R, NPH, and 70/30 Mix for them under the ReliOn/Novolin brand name. This insulin was the same quality as that which only carries the Novolin trademark. Beginning in mid-September 2010, ReliOn insulins will no longer be made by Novo Nordisk, but by Eli Lilly. [5][6]


Until 2001, the company produced some mixed beef/pork insulin products. Their Lentard MC, was a Lente insulin made of a blend of Bovine and Porcine insulins. They currently produce no animal insulins. The Lentard MC insulin was 70% beef and 30% pork. The nearest matching insulin still marketed [7] would be Hypurin Bovine Isophane. Other products which were bovine and porcine were Lentard (bovine/porcine Lente), Rapidtard (bovine/porcine R/neutral/normal). Lilly's Iletin I line of mixed beef/pork insulin were similar with the exception being that the Lilly insulins contained a higher fraction or percent of beef insulin (90% beef to 10% pork) than the Novo insulins.

Novo also produced pure beef insulins; its Ultratard was beef Ultralente. Novo's Monotard Pork, was identical to Lilly's Iletin II Lente. [8]

In many of them, Novo elected to use the same trade names it had for its animal insulins for its line of r-DNA/GE/GM insulins. Distinguishing between the two is made by the letters MC or HM. MC meant the insulin was of animal origin; HM meant it was produced through biotech.

Prescribing information [9] for Novo's Animal Insulins. Note that the Lente formula Lentard MC, which is roughly 2/3 beef and 1/3 pork has been off the market for a while, as well as all other Novo animal insulins.

Novo produces its bulk insulin at its factory in Kalundborg, Denmark. It wasn't that long ago that all Novo insulins were vialed by Novo in the EU and exported. Within the last few years, Novo has built new fill and finish insulin facilities in various areas of the globe-Clayton, North Carolina, USA, [10] Chartres, France, and Montes Claros, Brazil. These plants receive bulk insulin from Novo; their job is to transform it into a vialed product. [11]

References

  1. The History of Insulin.
  2. Insulin Collection-University of Toronto-Nordisk and Leo Brand pages 21-23. University of Toronto.
  3. Novo Nordisk History. Novo Nordisk.
  4. Wal-Mart-ReliOn-Insulin FAQs- Novo Nordisk Produces ReliOn Insulins. ReliOn.
  5. Wal-Mart Changes Insulin Partners. Wall Street Journal (22 June 2010).
  6. Wal-Mart Press Release. Wal-Mart (22 June 2010).
  7. Reminders-Discontinuation of Novo Lentard. IDDT International (October 2000).
  8. Insulin Preparations-1976-UK-page 2-Novo insulins.
  9. Prescribing Information Novo Animal Insulins.
  10. Novo Nordisk-Clayton, North Carolina. Novo Nordisk.
  11. Novo Bulk Insulin Plant-Kalundborg, Denmark. Pharmaceutical Technology.


Some of its products include:

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