Pharma Focus Asia
KP - Sustainable Packaging Solutions

Novo Nordisk Expands Production Plant in China

Novo Nordisk, the Denmark-based healthcare and diabetic care company is building its new assembling and production facility in Tianjing, the company’s production base in China. The plant, being promoted as part of the company’s expansion programme in China, will be commissioned in the middle of 2006. It will meet the growing demand for FlexPen, NovoPen and Penfill products and will cater to domestic and export purposes.

The company is spending US$128 million (DK800 million) on building the plant on an area of 40,000 m 2. A decision to this effect was taken in 2004 and the work began in the same year. Simultaneously, Novo Nordisk is also expanding its current packaging facilities for Penfill insulin cartridges and FlexPan prefilled insulin pens. The new plant is projected to generate more than 100 jobs on commissioning.




The new plant will assemble Novo Nordisk’s NovoPen® 3 insulin pen with the other programmes being the expansion of packaging facilities for Penfill insulin cartridges and Flexpen prefilled insulin pens. Flexpen is the latest insulin pen manufactured by Nordisk and will be used to administer the hormone to correct requirement. NovoPen 3 is the company’s patented product that is the most popular and widely used insulin pen in the world with a customer base of about two million diabetics using it on a daily basis.


Nordisk’s NovoPen 4, which will be manufactured very soon, is currently in the development stage. The pen contains the most successful and innovative features of NovoPen 3 with more user-friendly features. Penfill® is the company’s brand name for the insulin cartridges that are used along with NovoPen 3.


The existing NovoPen 3 production plant in Denmark will be phased out when the Chinese plant becomes operational. The plant will be later rebuilt to manufacture NovoPen 4 and the employees will be subsequently reabsorbed.


An inside view of the Novo Nordisk facility in Tianjing.        The NovoPen® 3 insulin pen.        A view of the Tianjin facility.


Insulin Pen

An Insulin Pen is an insulin delivery system that resembles a pen and uses needles and an insulin cartridge instead of vials and syringes. The pens are the most popular insulin delivery systems all over the world. Though the cartridge used in these pens is either replaceable or irreplaceable, the needles are always disposable and are specially made for insulin pens, shorter and thinner than the normal needles. To administer the insulin, the cartridge is loaded and screwed on the pen needle. The desired dose is dialed and the needle is injected before the button is pressed to deliver the insulin.


Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk is the Denmark-headquartered diabetes care company that has its operations in China since 1994. The company’s existing Chinese facilities include an R&D centre in Beijing and a plant for insulin packaging and quality control in Tianjin. Presently, Novo Nordisk employs more than 570 people in its China operations.


Specifications Table:

  • Company Name
  • Novo Nordisk Expansion, China
  • Location
  • Tianjin, China
  • Construction Type
  • Expansion
  • Date of Start
  • 2004
  • Date of Completion
  • 2006
  • Estimated Investment
  • UUS$128 million (DK800 million))
  • Key players
  • Sponsors/Partners
  • Novo Nordisk
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