A Report on the 1st Danish Peptide Symposium

Conference Report:
1st Danish Peptide Symposium
Copenhagen, Denmark, 30 August 2023

The first Danish Peptide Symposium was held in the Copenhagen area on August 30th 2023.

There were more than 250 registered participants, mainly from Denmark but there were also participants from other countries.

The Danish Peptide Symposium was organized by Pernille Tofteng Shelton (Gubra A/S), Søren Østergaard and Lars Linderoth (Novo Nordisk A/S) and Knud J. Jensen (University of Copenhagen). We had the generous support of Thomas Eiland Nielsen, VP at Novo Nordisk and the current EPS national representative from Denmark.

Denmark has a large peptide community, with many prominent companies working with peptide science, and many active academic groups contributing to the field. The companies are mainly in the Copenhagen region but when we include all of the Øresund region, companies with a peptide focus include: Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Novo Nordisk, and Zealand Pharma, who have marketed peptide drugs, Polypeptide Laboratories, who are synthesizing peptides drug substance on a large-scale , Gubra that focuses on peptide drug discovery, and many more, including small and larger start-ups.

The diversity of academic research in Denmark’s peptide community is also impressive. The range of research topics – including metabolism, oncology, inflammation, antibiotics, and more – highlights the multifaceted nature of peptide science. The collaborative efforts between academic groups and industry players contribute to advancements in understanding peptides and their applications in various fields. This collaborative ecosystem fosters innovation in understanding and applying peptides, which contributes to Denmark’s significant role in the global peptide landscape.

For this first Danish Peptide Symposium, most speakers had a connection to Denmark. The keynote speakers were Morten Meldal (the most recent Nobel laureate with a background in peptide science) and Jens Juul Holst, who discovered the function of GLP-1 (UCph). We also had lectures by Søren Østergaard (Novo Nordisk), Niels Vrang (Gubra), Joseph Rodgers (UCph), Rie Shultz Hansen (Aelin Therapeutics), Macarena Gomez de Salazar (Aarhus University), Jesper M. Mathiesen (Zealand Pharma), Jens Bjelke (Gubra), Alexander Lund Nielsen (EPFL), Jordi C. J. Hintzen (University of Gothenburg), Huy Thien Nguyen (UCph), Fabian Hink (UCph), and Kristian Strømgaard (UCph).

A view of the symposium hall

We hope the next symposium can be at the University of Copenhagen in 2024.

We are grateful to Novo Nordisk A/S, Lars Linderoth and Søren Østergaard for hosting us at their very impressive Maaloev campus. We thank our sponsors, who covered all expenses: Bioneer A/S, Zealand Pharma A/S, Gubra A/S and Novo Nordisk A/S.

Contributed by Knud J. Jensen