SOURCE: Zealand Pharma

October 10, 2007 08:57 ET

Wyeth and Zealand Pharma Advance the First Orally Available Gap Junction Modifier into Phase I Clinical Trials

GLOSTRUP, DENMARK--(Marketwire - October 10, 2007) -



Summary:

Zealand Pharma A/S (Zealand) today announced that it received a milestone payment from Wyeth (NYSE: WYE) due to Zealand for the advancement of the first orally available gap junction modifier ZP1609 (GAP-134) into phase I clinical trials in the US.

This is the second gap junction modifier developed by Zealand that Wyeth advanced into clinical trials. ZP1609 (GAP-134) has shown pharmacological effects in animal models of both ventricular and atrial arrhythmias, and with its oral formulation, the molecule represents a novel paradigm for the potential chronic prevention of cardiac arrhythmias.

In the heart, gap junctions are responsible for conducting electrical impulses between cells to maintain the heart's normal rhythm. Gap junction modulation is considered a promising and novel mechanism of action for the treatment of cardiovascular disorders.

Zealand Pharma entered into a development and license agreement with Wyeth in 2003 to co-develop gap junction modifiers for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. In 2004, the collaboration was expanded by an R&D agreement, and in 2005, a third agreement between the two companies was signed. Under the 2005 agreement, Zealand granted Wyeth rights to the unique Zealand compound library for novel compounds with potential gap junction modifying properties. From this library the two companies have identified ZP1609 (GAP-134), a small modified dipeptide, as a potent and selective gap junction modifier with oral bioavailability.

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Further information

Mogens Vang Rasmussen, Chief Financial Officer, IR & Communications

Zealand Pharma A/S, Smedeland 36, DK-2600 Glostrup, Denmark T +45 4328 1200 F +45 4328 1212 E info@zp.dk www.zealandpharm.com



About Zealand Pharma

Zealand Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of innovative peptide-based drugs. Zealand is one of the leaders within the peptide area, a growing market with significant drug development activities including treatment of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. All of Zealand's products target diseases and symptoms of significant unmet clinical need and commercial potential.

Since 1999, Zealand's scientists have built a pipeline that includes four compounds in clinical development, two of which have been out licensed to major pharmaceutical companies (Wyeth and Sanofi-Aventis). All Zealand's compounds emerge from Zealand's own drug discovery.

* ZP10 (AVE0010), a pharmaceutical agent for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, has been out-licensed to Sanofi-Aventis (www.sanofi-aventis.com) and Phase IIb clinical trials have been finalised. Phase III clinical development will be initiated in the beginning of 2008. * ZP120 is an ORL-1 receptor agonist. Zealand has all the rights to the drug, which is currently in Phase II clinical development for the treatment of heart failure. * GAP-134/ZP1609 has shown pharmacological effects in animal models of both ventricular and atrial arrhythmias, and with its oral formulation, the molecule represents a novel paradigm for the potential chronic prevention of cardiac arrhythmias. Clinical Phase I trials have started in the US. * Moreover, Zealand is developing ZP1846 for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced diarrhea. Zealand has all the rights to the drug, which has entered into clinical Phase I development.

Zealand has two late state pre-clinical projects, ZP1848 for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and ZP2435 for obesity and in addition, a portfolio of pre-clinical projects targeting a variety of disease areas, including obesity.

Zealand Pharma is based in Copenhagen and has approximately 65 employees.

The Company's investors include BankInvest, LD Pensions, Dansk Erhvervsinvestering and Sunstone Capital as well as the leading international biotech investors CDC Entreprises Innovation and AGF Private Equity (both in Paris) and Life Sciences Partners (Amsterdam).





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