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Record year in 2019 provides excellent foundation for a demanding 2020

The Lundbeck Foundation had a particularly successful 2019, recording a profit of DKK 5.6 billion – the best in the history of the Foundation. The year’s grants awarded to biomedical sciences research also reached a record high of DKK 666 million, DKK 400 million of which went to brain research.

  • The annual profit was the best in the history of the Foundation, at DKK 5,568 million compared to DKK 2,924 million in 2018
  • The profit on financial investments reached a record high DKK 2,180 million, compared to a loss of DKK 454 million in 2018
  • Profits from Lundbeckfonden Ventures and Emerge amounted to DKK 1,436 million against DKK 153 million in 2018, primarily driven by the sale of the Foundation’s share of Veloxis to Japanese Asahi Kasei to the tune of DKK 9 billion
  • At the end of 2019, the Lundbeck Foundation’s net worth amounted to DKK 65.3 billion, compared to DKK 62.5 at the end of 2018
  • Grants totalled DKK 666 million, DKK 95 million more than in 2018

Turnover in the Foundation’s three strategic subsidiaries, Lundbeck, ALK and Falck, decreased overall to DKK 34,134 million from DKK 35,020 million in 2018. Lundbeck recorded a 6% decline in turnover, primarily due to expiry of the patent on Onfi. Falck’s turnover fell by 1%, whereas ALK’s turnover increased by 12% from DKK 2,915 million in 2018 to DKK 3,274 million in 2019.

Despite the expected fall in turnover and profit, the three subsidiaries performed well in 2019. The strength of the Foundation’s model of active ownership, focusing on long-term addition of value, is particularly evident in periods of transition, which all three companies are currently undergoing.

The Lundbeck Foundation’s CEO, Lene Skole, says:

‘I’m proud to be able to announce that we delivered our best result ever in 2019. The divestment of Veloxis played a key role in the impressive profit, but our other financial investments also made good returns thanks to a well-balanced investment strategy that turned profits in all asset classes. The result gives us a solid foundation in the current situation, where we, like so many others, are experiencing heightened uncertainty due to the coronavirus crisis. The Lundbeck Foundation is in a strong position and expects to maintain the level of grants in 2020, so at least half a billion Danish kroner will go to biomedical sciences research for the benefit of patients and society alike.’

In 2019, the Lundbeck Foundation allocated a total of DKK 666 million to biomedical sciences research, spread across 382 grants. This is the highest amount in the Foundation’s history, equivalent to the salaries of 897 full-time researchers in Denmark.

The Lundbeck Foundation’s grant strategy focuses on research into brain disorders and on supporting researchers at all stages of their career. Six leading neuroscientists, three at Aarhus University and three at the University of Copenhagen, received a total of DKK 232 million under the new LF Professorships programme. This was the largest single grant round ever. Funding provided through the Foundation’s Fellows programme play an important part in career development, and in 2019 ten fellowships – each worth DKK 10 million – were awarded to young researchers.

The Lundbeck Foundation’s international research prize, The Brain Prize, worth EUR 1 million was awarded for ninth time in 2019 and went to four French scientists for their ground-breaking research into the brain disease CADASIL.

In March 2020, to help mitigate the impact of the current coronavirus pandemic, the Lundbeck Foundation decided to create an unprecedented fund totalling DKK 30 million, earmarked for research-based projects with a patient focus. In the space of a few short days, the Foundation received and processed 249 applications, and 18 projects were given funding.

New chair of the Lundbeck Foundation Board of Directors

Due to the Foundation’s rules on seniority, Jørgen Huno Rasmussen is stepping down from his position as chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. He has been a member of the board since 2008 and chair since 2012. The new chair will be Steffen Kragh, CEO of the Egmont Group, who has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2013 and vice-chair since 2014. Peter Schütze, who joined the Lundbeck Foundation Board of Directors in 2015, will be the new vice-chair.

Svend Andersen, Executive Vice President at American pharmaceutical company Perrigo, will join the board as a new member. Svend Andersen (58) holds a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (HD/O, Organisation and Management; HD/A, Marketing Management) and has had a long career in a number of international pharmaceutical companies.

Read and download full annual report

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