March 26, 2018

Novo Holdings strengthens its position as a leading international life science investor

Novo Holdings realized income and investment returns of DKK 20.7 billion (EUR 2.8 billion) in 2017. The return from the portfolio of life science investments outside the Novo Group provided more than half the profit.

Copenhagen, Denmark – March 26, 2018 – In line with its strategy of increasing investments in the life sciences, Novo Holdings made new investments in the sector of DKK 13.9 billion (EUR 1.9 billion) in 2017. The investments by the Principal Investments team in German companies Evotec and Synlab and in British company ConvaTec, all of which are market-leading life science companies, accounted for slightly more than DKK 11 billion (EUR 1.5 billion) of the new investment total.

On the venture front, Novo Holdings invested in 12 new companies and exited 14 others. With respect to early-stage seed investing, Novo Holdings invested in four new companies in the Nordic countries and Europe. At the end of 2017, the portfolio of life science investments outside the Novo Group (i.e. outside Novo Nordisk A/S, Novozymes A/S and NNIT A/S) was valued at DKK 56 billion (EUR 7.5 billion) across more than 80 investments.

“We executed in accordance with our strategy and invested with a long-term perspective. We are satisfied with the result, and our return on life science investments now stands at 21% for the past 5 years and 18% over 10 years on an annual basis,” says Kasim Kutay, CEO, Novo Holdings.

In the coming years, Novo Holdings is planning to increase its investments in life science companies at all stages of development: from seed companies in the early phases to well-established, cash-generative companies – with a focus on markets in the United States and Europe.

“We see a long-term positive trend for the life science industry and expect to continue increasing our investments in the coming years. The positive returns from our portfolio of life science investments and several successful exits and IPOs in recent years reinforce our optimism,” says Kasim Kutay.

An important part of the strategy of Novo Holdings is to diversify the investment portfolio by investing a certain amount in assets outside the life science sector. This largely comprises a broad global portfolio of liquid assets. These financial investments were valued at DKK 39 billion (EUR 5.3 billion) at the end of 2017. The return from these financial investments has been 11% annually over the past 5 years and 8% annually over the past 10 years.

Read the 2017 annual review.

Click the link below to read the full press release.

Further information

Christian Mostrup Scheel, Senior Press Officer, Novo Nordisk Foundation, phone: +45 3067 4805,