Changing Diabetes - Pharmaceutical Executive


Changing Diabetes
Novo Nordisk's Martin Soeters has a question: How can a nation that leads the world in diabetes research do such a poor job of treating it? He also thinks he has some answers.

Pharmaceutical Executive

Are stem-cell approaches coming soon?

We believe that there are at least one or two—perhaps three—promising routes for using stem cells for treating diabetes. But five years ago, we thought gene therapy was between five and 10 years away. And today, we're still hearing the same thing. So to be honest, I cannot say how fast that will come. But at least it is a promising route, and we should do whatever we can to look into it.

Do you want to sink any money into a virus-based delivery of the stem cell?

I cannot evaluate that well enough. But as I said, we think it is at least a promising route. We are working heavily on the prevention and cure. And if there is some direction setting and there are small steps, then there is hope. And hope is important to all of us. As long as there is hope, I think there is a willingness to live and to enjoy our current life. And that, I think people with diabetes deserve.

Soeters was named to his current post of president, Novo Nordisk USA, in 2000. Before that, he was senior vice president of international marketing, a position he held for two years. Dutch by birth, Soeters joined the company overseas, and has held various executive positions in The Netherlands, Holland, Belgium, and France. He's been with Novo Nordisk since 1980.


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