Prizes will be awarded in four categories: industry, small- and medium-sized enterprises/research institutes, non-European countries and lifetime achievement. Novo Nordisk is nominated in the 'industry' category, competing against French aviation company Airbus and German automaker Audi.
The invention for which the Novo Nordisk researchers are nominated concerns Levemir® (insulin detemir), a long-acting modern insulin that covers the body's basal insulin need and which today is used by more than one million people with diabetes. They have been nominated for "significantly improving the safety and quality of life of diabetes patients with a new insulin derivative for once-daily administration".
"The patent describes a technology for prolonging the duration of action of insulin. The invention is pioneering a new generation of modified human peptide hormones, because the technology can be applied more broadly to optimise the therapeutic value of proteins, including insulin and GLP-1," explains Svend Havelund, one of the inventors.
This year's award ceremony will be held alongside the European Patent Forum 2008, 'Inventing a cleaner future', in Ljubljana. The awards will be presented by Danilo TÃ¼rk, the president of the Republic of Slovenia, and Alison Brimelow, the president for the European Patent Office.
The prize recognises inventors and innovations that have made a significant and lasting contribution to technical development in Europe and beyond and thus have strengthened Europe's economic position. All the nominated projects were patented by the European Patent Office between 1993 and 2002.
The team of Novo Nordisk researchers are Svend Havelund, John Broberg Halstrom, Ib Jonassen, Asser Sloth Andersen and Jan Markussen.
About Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care. In addition, Novo Nordisk has a leading position within areas such as haemostasis management, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services that make a significant difference to patients, the medical profession and society. With headquarters in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 26,000 employees in 80 countries, and markets its products in 179 countries. Novo Nordisk's B shares are listed on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen and London. Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'NVO'. For more information, visit novonordisk.com.