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Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk is eliminating 63 Seattle jobs and closing its inflammation-research center, dealing the second recent blow to the local biotechnology sector from a large drug developer.

The company is bailing out of inflammation research after its most advanced compound in that area — a drug called anti-IL20 for rheumatoid arthritis — failed to meet its clinical trial goals.

In all, Novo Nordisk will eliminate 400 jobs, primarily in Denmark, China and Seattle, said spokesman Ken Inchausti. Employees here will be out of work by Nov. 3 and will get a severance package and other assistance, he said.

Novo Nordisk also has a diabetes-research center in Seattle that employs nearly 50, and that operation may grow as the company tightens its focus.

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“We are going to be continually investing there in diabetes and other therapy areas,” Inchausti said.

Novo Nordisk will retain all the South Lake Union space it leases from Biomed Realty on Fairview Avenue North at Mercer Street, and will take a portion of the new building Biomed is building next door, he said.

The company’s chief scientific officer, Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, said in a statement Tuesday that “significant unmet opportunities remain within diabetes, including prevention, obesity and diabetes complications. We have therefore decided to further increase our R&D efforts within diabetes, which is our main business area.”

Novo Nordisk opened its inflammation-research center here in 2009. The diabetes center opened in 2012.

In late July, Amgen shocked the biotech industry here by announcing it would close its campus on the Seattle waterfront and a pilot manufacturing plant in Bothell, eliminating 660 jobs, by 2016.

Rami Grunbaum: 206-464-8541 or

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