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Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk's commitment to diabetes research is fueling scientific discovery and public health innovation through the University of Toronto Novo Nordisk Network for Healthy Populations.

After a University of Toronto research team discovered insulin in 1921, Nordisk Insulin Laboratorium and Novo Terapeutisk Laboratorium brought this life-saving treatment from U of T labs to people with diabetes around the world. In 1989, these two companies merged to become Novo Nordisk, a multinational pharmaceutical company with a storied record of support for life-saving research into diabetes and other chronic diseases. Today, Novo Nordisk helps more than 29 million patients in 170 countries through its research, treatments, and community-oriented initiatives such as the company’s innovative Cities Changing Diabetes (CCD) program.

Novo Nordisk has continued to partner with U of T in the century since insulin’s discovery, and has made several generous donations to fund strategic approaches and interventions related to disease-prevention work at the University. In 1996, the company gave $1.4 million to endow the Novo Nordisk Awards at the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre, which provide scholarships to graduate students conducting diabetes research.

In 2021, Novo Nordisk gave $22 million to support diabetes research at the University that takes a population health perspective. Bolstered by matching funds from U of T, $20 million of this donation launched the University of Toronto Novo Nordisk Network for Healthy Populations. A partnership between U of T Mississauga, the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, the network is based at University of Toronto Mississauga and brings together world-renowned researchers to discover and implement new, evidence-based approaches to support healthier urban populations.

The network’s findings will not only help Mississauga community members battling diabetes and other serious chronic diseases but will also contribute to the global search for solutions that will benefit other diverse urban centres. The remaining $2 million of this landmark donation is supporting discovery research at the Banting and Best Centre, setting the stage for further advances in the ongoing fight against diabetes.

Novo Nordisk’s extraordinary generosity is supporting practical and exciting developments in research and public health, catalyzing positive health outcomes for people living with diabetes.