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Pharmaceutical researcher is new honorary professor at Health

Lotte Bjerre Knudsen from Novo Nordisk is a new honorary professor at Health, Aarhus University. She is the person behind the discovery of liraglutide, a new class of drugs for Novo Nordisk that are used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

In 1991, Lotte Bjerre Knudsen and her team at Novo Nordisk started work on developing a medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes based on the gut hormone GLP-1. Eighteen years later their work came to fruition when liraglutide was approved in the EU for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. A year ago, liraglutide was also approved for the treatment of obesity. Now this respected researcher has become affiliated with Health at Aarhus University as an honorary professor.

"This honorary title is for me personally a great recognition of the work I have done throughout my career as an application-oriented researcher employed in the medicinal industry. I look forward to continuing my collaboration with researchers from the university and to contributing to teaching the students at Health," says Lotte Bjerre Knudsen.

According to Lotte Bjerre Knudsen, collaboration between researchers from the university and those from the pharmaceutical industry increases understanding of the similarities and differences in the application-oriented research.

"Hopefully this will lead to new forms of treatment that will ultimately benefit patients," says Lotte Bjerre Knudsen.

Invented new series of medicinal products

Lotte Bjerre Knudsen is the person behind the invention of liraglutide, which is a new series of drugs based on GLP-1. Liraglutide lowers blood sugar levels and puts a dampener on appetite, so that patients are given help to lose weight. The drug works for 24 hours at a time, so patients do not have to take medicine several times a day. Liraglutide is sold under the name Victoza® for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and under the name Saxenda® for the treatment of obesity.

Lotte Bjerre Knudsen is Scientific Vice President in the Global Research division at Novo Nordisk. She has been employed at Novo Nordisk since she graduated as a chemical engineer in 1989. Lotte Bjerre Knudsen has a higher doctoral degree in medicine from the University of Copenhagen.

Further information

Scientific Vice President (Global research) Lotte Bjerre Knudsen