May 13, 2024

Trillion Dollar Shot, Episode 1: Birth of a Blockbuster

by The Journal

Before Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro and Zepbound, there was Lotte Bjerre Knudsen.

In the 1990s, the young scientist at the Danish drug company Novo Nordisk was trying to unlock the key to a new technology for treating Type 2 diabetes. To her bosses, Lotte’s project, which focused on a hormone called GLP-1, looked like a distraction. 

But as Lotte fought to save her diabetes project from the chopping block, she couldn’t have imagined how much of an impact her breakthrough would have. Her work would pave the way for a hit drug called Ozempic. And it would unleash a new class of blockbuster drugs, pitting two companies in a race to become the world’s first trillion-dollar pharmaceutical company by market cap.

Listen to Part 1 of “Trillion Dollar Shot” now.

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