The Research & Development Committee

The Research & Development Committee consists of up to five members elected by the Board of Directors from among its members. One member is designated as chair and one member is an employee representative.

The Research & Development Committee was established in March 2017 in light of the updated research and development strategy and priorities as a temporary board committee. In 2018, the Board decided that the Research & Development Committee should continue as a permanent committee and revised the charter to include additional responsibilities.?

The Board of Directors has in March 2019 elected the following members to the Research & Development Committee:

  • Martin Mackay (re-elected, member and chair since 2018; independent)
  • Brian Daniels (re-elected, member since the establishment in 2017; independent)
  • Sylvie Gregoire (re-elected, member?since the establishment in 2017; independent)
  • Thomas Rantzau (re-elected, member?since 2018; employee representative; not independent)

Roles and responsibilities

The Research & Development Committee assists the Board with oversight of the research and development strategy, the pipeline, the R&D organisation, and other tasks on an ad hoc basis as specifically decided by the Board.


The Research & Development Committee consists of three members who are independent, including the chair, as defined in the Danish Corporate Governance Recommendations and one member, the employee representative, who is non-independent. According to the Danish Corporate Governance Recommendations a majority of the members of a board committee shall qualify as independent. Hence, the composition of the Research & Development Committee adheres to the Danish Corporate Governance Recommendations.


The Research & Development Committee conducted five meetings in 2018. All Research & Development Committee members attended all committee meetings within the member’s term in 2018. Please refer to the Annual Report on pp. 50-51 for a detailed attendance overview.


Research & Development Committee Report 2018

The R&D Committee was established in March 2017 as a temporary committee. In 2018 the Board of Directors decided that the R&D Committee should be a permanent committee. The R&D Committee works according to an Annual Work Plan with fixed agenda items. In addition, the R&D Committee meets when developments require additional meetings. The R&D Committee has in 2018 met five times and dealt with the following matters:

R&D pipeline update

  • Regularly reviewed progress of the development project pipeline, including initiation and results of clinical trials, submission of application for marketing authorisations, and receipt of marketing authorisations for key development projects.
  • Reviewed progress of the research project pipeline, including key challenges and initiatives within early innovation and new therapeutic areas.

Progress within external innovation sourcing

  • Discussed the increased need for external innovation sourcing.
  • Regularly reviewed potential as well as completed external innovation sourcing opportunities, including potential acquisitions and licensing opportunities.?
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Implementation of the revised R&D Strategy

  • Reviewed the overall strategic objectives for the next 3-5 years.
  • Reviewed the research strategy within oral glp-1, Biopharm, NASH and atherosclerosis.
  • Reviewed R&D governance, including restructurings and key priority initiatives across R&D.
  • Reviewed the future organisational R&D set-up.
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R&D Committee matters and governance

  • Reviewed and endorsed the Annual Work Plan for 2019.
  • Reviewed and suggested changes to the R&D Committee charter.
  • Conducted private meetings without the assigned executive being present.
  • Reviewed and endorsed a report on the R&D Committee’s activities in 2018.

Special focus areas

  • GLP-1 (subcutaneous and oral): Reviewed results of clinical trials conducted and discussed potential additional research and development activities to further explore opportunities within GLP-1 of as well as competitor initiatives.
  • NASH and atherosclerosis: Discussed the potential opportunities to address unmet needs.
  • External innovation sourcing: Reviewed potential external research collaborations as well as acquisitions.
  • R&D organisation: Discussed elements to further enhance the R&D organisations’ performance, re-allocation of resources and succession management.


Related reading

R&D Committee Charter