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Novo Nordisk to boost U.S. work force by 15 percent, including N.J. hires

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Danish pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk Inc. said today it will increase its U.S. work force by 15 percent in 2012, including staffing additions at its U.S. headquarters in Plainsboro.

The hiring blitz follows plans announced in August to move into a new, 770,000 square-foot headquarters in Plainsboro. The new headquarters will be in an existing building the company is renovating at a cost of $215 million.

Novo Nordisk currently has 1,200 employees in the state, but spokesman Ken Inchausti said that number is expected to grow to nearly 1,300 employees by next spring.

Jeff Frazier, head of U.S. human resources at Novo Nordisk, said the new hires, both locally and nationally, will be across a wide range of functions.

"The expansion is across all elements of our business," he said.

Local jobs include administrative positions at the headquarters office, as well as a number of field medical positions. For its sales hires, Frazier said the firm will target people who have been in the top 20 percent at their previous organization at some point in the previous two years.

Frazier said he expects to find plenty of applicants to fill those roles, partly due to downsizing at other Big Pharma firms, and partly of Novo Nordisk's reputation.

"Everybody in pharma knows who Novo Nordisk is, and knows they're a great employer," he said.

The company is a rare example of growth in the struggling pharma industry. Novo Nordisk had seen 39 quarters of double-digit growth going into 2012, and their therapeutic focus — diabetes care — is a rapidly growing market.

"This announcement signals the strength of our business model, the increasing demand for our world-class diabetes products, and the steady output of our robust pipeline," said Jerzy Gruhn, U.S. president of Novo Nordisk, in prepared remarks.

Outside New Jersey, the company is currently hiring for its manufacturing facility in North Carolina, and in January, the firm announced it would add 20 new jobs at a Seattle research facility.

Frazier said the company already has hired about 20 field medical workers associated with the expansion, but he said many more jobs will be posted in June or July on the website www.novonordisksalesjobs.com.

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