The Nordisk Insulin Foundation gets a new Chair

August Krogh retires as Chair of the Nordisk Insulin Foundation but continues as a Board member until 1947. Torsten Thunberg from Sweden succeeds him (1931–1945). Successive chairs are Olav Hanssen from Norway (1945–1965); Olaf Rømcke from Norway (1965–1968); Jan Waldenström from Sweden (1968–1976); Jacob E. Poulsen from Denmark (1976–1979); Rolf Luft from Sweden (1979–1984); and Bror-Axel Lamberg from Finland (1984–1989).


Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium inaugurates Niels Steensens Hospital

Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium inaugurates Niels Steensens Hospital (now Steno Diabetes Center). The name honours the memory of Danish scientific pioneer Niels Steensen (1638–1986). Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium owns the hospital and pays most of the operating expenses. People with diabetes who cannot afford to pay for treatment are treated free of charge at the hospital, and from 1957, the hospital’s laboratory is a site for successful research into the causes and development of diabetes.


Arne Jacobsen designs Novo’s first factory

Danish architect Arne Jacobsen designs Novo Terapeutisk Laboratorium’s first new factory in Frederiksberg.


Nordisk contributes to Niels Bohr’s research

Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium and the Nordisk Insulin Foundation donate significant sums over the years to research by Danish physicist and Nobel laureate Niels Bohr. In recognising his outstanding research, the Board of the Foundation awards several grants that only barely comply with the Articles of Association. In 1935, the Foundation awards Bohr a discretionary grant of DKK 15,000 and contributes to a fund to purchase radium on the occasion of his 50th birthday. In 1938, Bohr receives a new discretionary grant of DKK 15,000, and Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium provides funding of DKK 10,000 in 1945 and DKK 50,000 in 1955 for establishing the Niels Bohr scholarship, to which the Novo Foundation also contributes.


Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium awards its first grants

Although its Articles of Association do not mention grants, Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium continues to make substantial donations over the years to scientific research and several other fields. Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium awards its first grants of DKK 10,000, DKK 6,000 and DKK 4,000 to physicians H. Helweg and M. Schmidt and for research on insulin therapy and schizophrenia. From the late 1930s, a grant-awarding culture emerges, primarily instigated by Hans Christian Hagedorn, mostly based on unsolicited applications. Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium awards scientific grants for publishing books and journals and for conferences of scientific societies. Humanitarian and social grants are also awarded. One unusual grant is for acquiring zoologist Axel M. Hemmingsen’s collections of birds, sea animals and insects from China and donating them to the Zoological Museum of the University of Copenhagen. The size of the grants varies from year to year but averages about one quarter of the money transferred to the Nordisk Insulin Foundation.


Novo opens Hvidøre Diabetiker Sanatorium (Hvidøre Hospital)

Novo Terapeutisk Laboratorium founds Hvidøre Diabetiker Sanatorium at Hvidøre Castle north of Copenhagen. In addition to receiving treatment, people with diabetes learn how they can optimise living with the disease. For many people, this means that they can lead nearly normal lives when they return home. Hvidøre also becomes the centre for research and clinical trials of Novo’s new products. In 1949, the Sanatorium changes its name to Hvidøre Hospital.

Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium gets a new Chair

August Krogh steps down as the Chair of Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium and is succeeded by August Kongsted (pictured) (1938–1939), Kaj Linderstrøm-Lang (1939–1956), Hans Christian Hagedorn (1956–1969), Jacob E. Poulsen (1969–1977), Niels Kjølbye (1977–1984) and Allan Philip (1984–1989).


August Kongsted dies

Viewed externally, August Kongsted (1870–1939) seems to play an unobtrusive role, while August Krogh and Hans Christian Hagedorn are the driving forces of the company. Nevertheless, Kongsted is entrusted with the task of chairing Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium when August Krogh retires in 1938, although he only serves for a very short time. Kongsted is considered a talented pharmaceutical manufacturer who focuses on quality and standardisation. His life’s work, Løvens kemiske Fabrik, now LEO Pharma, is a leading global pharmaceutical company with more than 3,000 employees.