August and Marie Krogh
The story of Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium began on an autumn day in 1922, when August and Marie Krogh arrived in the United States by sea. August Krogh was a professor at the University of Copenhagen and had received the Nobel Prize in physiology in 1920. The couple had been invited to the US by researchers at Yale University, who had asked August Krogh to lecture throughout the country on his medical research.
On their tour of the US, the couple heard daily reports of people with diabetes being treated with insulin – a hormone discovered in 1921 by two Canadian researchers, Banting and Best. Marie Krogh was particularly interested in the treatment. Herself a doctor, she had in 1914 also become the fourth Danish woman to earn a doctorate in medicine. She was a researcher with her own medical practice and had several patients with type 1 diabetes. Marie Krogh herself had type 2 diabetes. It was Marie, who suggested that her husband contact the University of Toronto where the first life-saving insulin extract had been produced.
Permission to manufacture insulin
During their stay in the US, August Krogh wrote to Professor Macleod, head of the institute in Toronto where the first insulin extract had been produced.
The letter were well received, and after a meeting in Toronto, the couple returned to Copenhagen in
December 1922 with permission to manufacture and sell the vital insulin in Scandinavia. August Krogh founded the company Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium in partnership with the Danish medical doctor Hans Christian Hagedorn, and with financial assistance
provided by the Danish pharmacist August Kongsted.