Third fire at Novo Nordisk, but company says there’s no link

Novo Nordisk fire
Greater Copenhagen Fire Department

Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk has been affected by a third fire in a month, the latest involving an office building near its Copenhagen headquarters.

The latest fire started at a three-storey rented office a short distance from its main building in the Bagsvaerd district yesterday afternoon, but was quickly brought under control by the authorities, according to a statement from the company, which manufactures blockbuster obesity drug Wegovy and Ozempic for diabetes, both based on GP-1 agonist semaglutide.

There were no reports of any injuries, and the cause of the fire is now being investigated by the fire department and police.

Earlier, a fire was reported at a facility that is being constructed in the Danish city of Kalundborg on 16th May, which was followed by a second at an office building in Bagsvaerd just a few days later. Those fires took place a few weeks after a huge fire engulfed Copenhagen’s old stock exchange, one of its most famous landmarks, causing it to partially collapse.

A spokesman for Novo Nordisk told local newspaper BT that “there is nothing to suggest that there was anything criminal behind the fire today or the previous ones.”

A post on by Copenhagen police said: “In connection with yesterday’s fire at Novo Nordisk in Bagsværd, the cause of the fire has not been determined, and the investigation is ongoing. For now, there is no indication that there is anything criminal behind the fire, but it is of course being thoroughly investigated by the police.”

Earlier this week, a report on the fire in Kalundborg was published that suggested that it was caused by two people who were working illegally at the site, which is a key part of the company’s plans to boost production capacity for Wegovy and Ozempic.

A MedWatch report, citing minutes from a safety meeting at the site five days after the blaze, suggests that the construction workers “did not have a permit to complete the task that started the fire — or to work in Denmark at all.”

After the fire, Novo Nordisk said it did not expect any impact on the timeline to complete construction of the facility, which is due to finish in stages between 2025 and 2029.