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Apr 24, 2020

High school students compete online in developing future medicines

Today, 96 students from high schools across Denmark will participate online when they present their ideas for future medicines to treat brain diseases to a panel of researchers from Lundbeck. Simon Kollerup, Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, sees Lundbeck’s competition as “critically important”.

Today, some of Denmark’s brightest young talents in natural science will have their ideas for future medicines to treat brain diseases tested and assessed in the digital finale of the competition Drughunters arranged by H. Lundbeck A/S (Lundbeck). Because of the corona-situation, the finale will be online this year and not take place in Lundbeck’s headquarter as usual.

Drughunters is an annual competition for high school students from across Denmark and the finale is part of The Danish Science Festival. The competition aims to increase students’ interest in natural sciences and as part of the competition they work with the development of new medicines like trained scientists.

Drughunters is one of so far 108 projects in the Technology Pact (Teknologipagten), which is a collaboration between the Danish government, educational institutions and businesses. It aims at increasing interest and education in and use of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). According to Simon Kollerup, Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, initiatives like Drughunters are pivotal to the development of talent among students and thus for enhancing the future labour market.

“Gaining insights in the world of research through competitions like this one is critically important to increase interest in STEM and the innovation, thoroughness and creativity required to create the researchers and life science-entrepreneurs of tomorrow,” says Simon Kollerup and adds: “The corona-crisis has highlighted the importance of a strong life science-industry and initiatives like Drughunters support the efforts and educations that will form the basis of green growth and great workplaces way into the future.”

The fascinating brain

Since October 2019, more than 1,400 students from 40 different high schools have worked with the brain and its diseases through participation in Drughunters. Today, the best students from each class will compete to see who made the best suggestions for future brain research.

All finalists will have their work evaluated by researchers from Lundbeck who work with developing new medicines to treat brain diseases every day. Presentations and evaluations will be presented in a video conference as the corona-situation prevents a physical finale.

“The brain is fascinating to work with and it is my hope that the participating students have gotten both more knowledgeable and more interested in the brain and brain diseases,” says Johan Luthman, Executive Vice President, Research & Development at Lundbeck. Johan Luthman will also give a presentation on brain research to the students at the video conference and look forward to hearing the students’ presentations.

“It is always exciting and inspiring to hear new ideas about brain research. I know that the students are well qualified and hope that many of them will look to science when deciding on their educations and careers. This would be good for society and for the people living with brain diseases for whom there still is an unmet need,” says Johan Luthman.

Facts about Drughunters

  • Drughunters is a natural sciences competition for high school students arranged by Lundbeck. It combines classroom learning within biology, chemistry and biotechnology (at the Danish A and B levels). The competition is arranged by Lundbeck as part of the Danish Science Festival.
  • The competition takes its starting point in brain diseases and drug development as it is practiced today. Students can choose between projects that have a chemical, biological or biotechnical approach.
  • Students were handed their assignments in October 2019 and have had six months to create a scientific poster. During the competition, students have the opportunity to meet Lundbeck researchers through lectures at their high schools.
  • The best poster from each participating class qualifies for the finale of the competition where students will compete by presenting their posters for each other and scientists from Lundbeck. This year, the finale is held as a video conference because of the corona-situation.


Mikkel Ballegaard Pedersen Mads Kronborg
Journalist, Corp. Communication Senior Director, Corp. Communication
+45 30 83 20 44 +45 36 43 40 00

About Lundbeck

H. Lundbeck A/S (LUN.CO, LUN DC, HLUYY) is a global pharmaceutical company specialized in brain diseases. For more than 70 years, we have been at the forefront of neuroscience research. We are tirelessly dedicated to restoring brain health, so every person can be their best.

An estimated 700 million people worldwide are living with brain diseases and far too many suffer due to inadequate treatment, discrimination, a reduced number of working days, early retirement and other unnecessary consequences. Every day, we strive for improved treatment and a better life for people living with brain diseases – we call this Progress in Mind.


Our approximately 5,800 employees in more than 50 countries are engaged in the entire value chain throughout research, development, production, marketing and sales. Our pipeline consists of several late-stage development programs and our products are available in more than 100 countries. Our research centers are based in Denmark and the US and our production facilities are located in Denmark, France and Italy. Lundbeck generated revenue of DKK 17.0 billion in 2019 (EUR 2.3 billion; USD 2.6 billion).

For additional information, we encourage you to visit our corporate site and connect with us on Twitter at @Lundbeck and via LinkedIn


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