2. Winner: Novo Nordisk

Company: Novo Nordisk
Symbol: $NVO
Beginning price: 669 Kroner
Ending price: 921 Kroner
Gain: 37.67%

Lay a fever chart of the share price for Novo Nordisk ($NVO) over one showing the growth rate for diabetes globally, and you will see the same trajectory--sharply up. As its CEO, Lars Sorensen, recently told the Financial Times, "What we are good at, all of a sudden becomes the biggest public health problem we have ever seen." Maybe so, but it has also been developing really good meds, such as Victoza, which had a 62% increase in the first 9 months of the year, helping the Danish drugmaker to serve up a 40% increase in core profits.

But the company has made it clear that its growth will depend on Tresiba, Novo's new ultra-long-acting insulin and a potential challenger to Sanofi's ($SNY) dominant product. An FDA advisory panel recently recommended approval but also suggested further study of its heart risks.

For more:
Special Report:
Tresiba - Top diabetes drug pipelines of 2012
Novo Nordisk, largest Nordic company, shoots for top drugmaker
Japan OKs Novo Nordisk's long-acting insulin Tresiba
Novo hikes forecast on 62% jump in Victoza sales

2. Winner: Novo Nordisk
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