Copenhagen, Denmark, 28 June 2011 – Zealand Pharma A/S (NASDAQ OMX: ZEAL), a biopharmaceutical company based in Denmark, has presented new data from preclinical studies with ZP2929, a novel glucagon/GLP-1 dual agonist drug candidate in preclinical development for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and obesity. ZP2929 was discovered by Zealand Pharma and recently global rights to the drug candidate were licensed to Boehringer Ingelheim as part of a global licence and collaboration agreement between the two companies to advance novel compounds for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and obesity (Company Announcement No. 10, 16 June 2011).
The preclinical data on ZP2929 was presented yesterday in a poster session at the American Diabetes Association (ADA)’s 71st Scientific Sessions in San Diego, California from 24 – 28 June 2011 entitled:
“The new glucagon-GLP-1 dual agonist ZP2929 in combination with long-acting insulin improves glycemic control without causing weight gain in db/db mice”
Treatment of Type 2 diabetic patients with long-acting insulin analogues for control of blood glucose is known to be associated with weight gain. In preclinical models, ZP2929 has been shown to improve glycemic control while decreasing body weight.
Commenting on this release, David H. Solomon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Zealand Pharma, said: “ZP2929 is one of the most innovative compounds discovered by Zealand Pharma, with a novel mode of action. The preclinical results we have presented at ADA this year provide further support for the potential of this drug candidate in Type 2 diabetes and obesity. We look forward to advancing the development of ZP2929 as part of our joint efforts with its exclusive licensee Boehringer Ingelheim to bring novel and better treatments to patients.”
The results presented show that in a well-known preclinical disease model of diabetes, the combination of ZP2929 with long-acting insulin over a 21-day period resulted in a significant reduction in blood glucose. Moreover, the combination with ZP2929 over the same period of time resulted in stable body weight whereas treatment with long-acting insulin alone resulted in weight gain. A second study in a preclinical model for obesity, showed that treatment with ZP2929 alone resulted in not only a significant weight loss but also a greater weight loss than seen with liraglutide, a marketed GLP-1 agonist.
A copy of the poster will be available to download from Zealand Pharma’s website, www.zealandpharma.com after the presentation at ADA.
The agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim and financial outlook for 2011
The new data presented on ZP2929 does not change Zealand Pharma’s expectations in 2011 to receive a total of DKK 150 (€20) million in revenues and other income under the Boehringer Ingelheim agreement, nor the company’s guidance on total operating expenses for the full year of DKK 170 (€23) million.
Under the agreement between Zealand Pharma and Boehringer Ingelheim on dual acting glucagon/GLP-1 agonists, Zealand Pharma is eligible to receive payments of up to €376 million for ZP2929 depending on the achievement of pre-defined development, regulatory and commercial milestones. Zealand Pharma is entitled also to tiered royalties that range from high single to low double digits on global sales of the product. Zealand Pharma retains co-promotion rights to ZP2929 in Scandinavia.
For further information, please contact:
David H. Solomon, President and Chief Executive Officer;
Mobile: +45 2220 6300
Hanne Leth Hillman, Vice President, Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications;
Mobile: +45 5060 3689
The biological rationale for developing ZP2929 is based on the pharmacology of the gut peptide hormone oxyntomodulin. Oxyntomodulin is released by the L-cells of the small intestine after meals, and is believed to exert its biological effects by activating both the glucagon receptor and the GLP-1 receptor. In humans, this hormone is believed to have multiple beneficial effects on diabetes and obesity, improving glucose tolerance and causing substantial weight loss.
ZP2929, which acts on both the glucagon and the GLP-1 receptors, has in preclinical studies shown the ability to achieve glycemic control while causing significant and sustained weight loss. ZP2929 is being developed for once-daily subcutaneous administration to treat patients with Type 2 diabetes and patients with obesity.
ZP2929 was discovered by Zealand Pharma, and global rights to the drug candidate have been licensed to Boehringer Ingelheim.
About Zealand Pharma
Zealand Pharma A/S is a public (NASDAQ OMX: ZEAL) biopharmaceutical company based in Copenhagen, Denmark with a mature and growing clinical pipeline of innovative peptide based drugs. The company’s lead product is Lyxumia® (lixisenatide), a once-daily GLP-1 agonist licensed to Sanofi, who has Lyxumia® in late-stage Phase III development for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Zealand Pharma also has a collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim covering glucagon/GLP-1 dual agonists, including ZP2929 for the treatment of diabetes and obesity, and a license agreement with Helsinn Healthcare on a clinical stage GLP-2 drug for the treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy induced diarrhea.
Zealand Pharma specializes in the discovery, optimization and development of novel peptide drugs with favorable therapeutic attributes, and all drug candidates in its pipeline have been identified through the company’s own drug discovery activities. Zealand Pharma’s products target disease areas where existing treatments fail to adequately serve patient needs and where the market potential for improved treatments through the use of peptide drugs is high.
For more information please visit www.zealandpharma.com
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