Zealand Pharma Enters Into Expanded Collaboration Agreement With Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (New Jersey)
Copenhagen, Denmark, 4 March 2005: Zealand Pharma A/S (Zealand) and Wyeth (NYSE: WYE) today announced an expansion of their existing research collaboration in the field of gap junction modulators. This is the third research agreement between the two companies following the initial licensing agreement in 2003 to co-develop ZP123, a novel drug candidate for the treatment of arrhythmias that is currently under clinical investigation by Wyeth. The focus of the expanded 3-year agreement is research and development of new gap junction modifying compounds targeting cardiovascular disorders.
ZP123 (GAP-486) is a novel small peptide that modulates protein channels called gap junctions. In the heart, these channels are responsible for conducting electrical impulses between cells to maintain the heart’s normal rhythm. Gap junction modulation is considered a promising and completely novel mechanism of action for the treatment of cardiovascular disorders.
As part of the agreement, Zealand and Wyeth will collaborate on the discovery of additional novel compounds that modulate gap junctions.
Under the agreement Zealand has additionally granted Wyeth rights to the unique Zealand compound library for novel compounds with potential gap junction modifying properties. The two companies will collaborate and share data on the compounds to expand their knowledge about these novel classes of molecules.
Wyeth will have the option to add compounds identified during the expanded discovery term under the terms and conditions established under the original agreement in return for certain bonus research fees payable to Zealand for Wyeth rights these compounds. "We are extremely pleased to continue our productive and successful collaboration with Zealand on the discovery and development of gap junction modulators. The successful initiation of clinical studies with the first generation of such compounds is testimony to the successful collaborative nature of this partnership which we hope to continue on the discovery of the next generation of compounds" says Frank Walsh, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Discovery Research, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. "This third research agreement with Wyeth corroborates the exciting potential of our compounds and the pioneering principle of gap junction modulation. Furthermore, it confirms the dynamic and productive collaboration that Zealand and Wyeth have established over the past years. This expanded 3-year discovery agreement will allow us to expand our R&D collaboration with Wyeth in the cardiovascular field, and further support our ability to develop novel compounds for non-cardiovascular indications" says Jørgen Søberg Petersen, Chief Scientific Officer, Zealand Pharma.
About Zealand Pharma
Zealand Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company founded in 1998. The Company focus is on discovery and development of novel peptide based drugs. Zealand is located near Copenhagen, in the Medicon Valley area, and employs 48 individuals.
Zealand’s own drug discovery has so far resulted in 3 compounds, which are currently in clinical development. Two of these compounds have been out-licensed to major pharmaceutical companies. One compound (AVE0010/ZP10), a GLP-1 agonist for treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, has been licensed to Sanofi-Aventis. This compound is currently in clinical Phase II. A second compound (GAP-486/ZP123), a gap-junction modifier for prevention of Ventricular Arrhythmia, has been licensed to Wyeth and is currently in clinical Phase I.
A third clinical compound (ZP120), an Aquaretic intended for Acute Heart Failure, is in clinical Phase II. Furthermore, the company has a GLP-2 analogue for treatment of Chemotherapy-Induced Diarrhoea in late pre-clinical development.
For more information, please contact: Jørgen Søberg Petersen, Chief Scientific Officer, + 45 4328 1207, email@example.com
Eva Steiness, Chief Executive Officer, +45 4328 1210, firstname.lastname@example.org