October 15, 2018 / 10:31 AM / in 2 months

Novo Nordisk picks AstraZeneca executive to head biopharma business

COPENHAGEN, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk has hired AstraZeneca’s head of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases to head its biopharma business, which has been struggling with declining sales and a failed acquisition.

Ludovic Helfgott will replace Jesper Brandgaard, who resigned as CFO earlier this year, when he retires in April next year after 20 years at the Danish company.

Novo, best known for its diabetes drugs, is on the hunt for promising assets to boost its struggling blood products business after it lost out to French rival Sanofi in the chase for Belgian biotech company Ablynx in January.

Novo’s biopharmaceutical business, which saw sales fall 16 percent last year, comprises its haemophilia and human growth hormone franchises. (Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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