SOURCE: Zealand Pharma

September 01, 2009 04:07 ET

Zealand Pharma advances a new generation of Type 2 Diabetes treatment

GLOSTRUP, DENMARK--(Marketwire - September 1, 2009) -

Danish biotech company Zealand Pharma is developing a new treatment, ZP2929, for Type 2 Diabetes. ZP2929 has the potential to significantly decrease body weight and reduce the risk of Diabetes-related complications.

ZP2929 is a dual Glucagon-GLP-1 agonist, a peptide drug which interacts with two receptor systems that play a role in metabolism and Type 2 Diabetes. Zealand Pharma's new drug has the promise of significantly lowering the weight of people with diabetes who are overweight or obese, thereby preventing related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease. The drug is now moving into pre-clinical development.

"We have been through a long and exciting research period. The result is a new dual Glucagon-GLP-1 agonist that both controls the blood glucose levels and reduces weight in obese diabetic models," says Dr. David H Solomon, CEO of Zealand Pharma.

Epidemic growth

Type 2 Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and more recently worldwide. It is estimated that 246 million people suffer from diabetes globally and the number is predicted to increase to 380 million by 2025. Type 2 Diabetes accounts for 90-95 per cent of all diabetes cases. Up to 90 per cent of people with Type 2 Diabetes are either overweight or obese.

"Having diabetes is hard to manage because you have to control and regulate your blood glucose levels. In addition many people with Type 2 Diabetes find weight control a struggle and these are the people we hope to help," Solomon says.

Significant weight loss

The Type 2 Diabetes market is characterized by strong competition. ZP2929 potentially has to compete with another class of compounds, the GLP-1 agonists, having an effect on weight loss. ZP2929 has been compared to a marketed GLP-1 agonist in pharmacological studies and the results show that ZP2929 induces superior and sustained weight loss.

"We feel confident that our new dual Glucagon-GLP-1 agonist ZP2929, with its unique properties, will lead to a greater weight loss than its competitors," states Solomon.

                                # # #

Further information
David Solomon, President and Chief Executive Officer

Mogens Vang Rasmussen, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating
Officer and Chief Financial Officer, IT & Communications

Zealand Pharma A/S, Smedeland 36, DK-2600 Glostrup, Denmark
T +45 4328 1200 F +45 4328 1212 E

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 five compounds in clinical development, three of which have been out licensed to major pharmaceutical companies (Sanofi-Aventis, Wyeth and Helsinn Healthcare). All Zealand's compounds emerge from Zealand's own drug discovery.

  * Lixisenatide (AVE0010/ZP10), a pharmaceutical agent for the
    treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, has been out-licensed to
    Sanofi-Aventis, which is the world's third largest pharmaceutical
    corporation with a strong Diabetes franchise. Phase III clinical
    trials were initiated in May 2008.

  * GAP-134/ZP1609; a gap junction modifier that prevents both
    ventricular and atrial arrhythmias in animal models. With its
    oral formulation, the molecule represents a novel paradigm for
    the potential chronic prevention of atrial arrhythmias. US based
    pharmaceutical giant Wyeth Pharmaceutical has finalized a Phase I
    trial in the US.

  * ZP1846 is an innovative treatment for prevention of
    chemotherapy-induced diarrhea, which may prevent discontinuation
    and dose modification during cancer chemotherapy. A Phase I
    clinical trial has been conducted in the US. The compound has
    been partnered with Helsinn Healthcare SA.

  * ZP1848 is a novel paradigm for the treatment of Inflammatory
    Bowel Diseases (e.g. Crohn's Disease). The compound is in Phase I
    clinical development in the US.

  * AP214/ZP1480 for Post-surgical Organ Failure, partnered with
    Action Pharma, currently in clinical Phase II development.

In addition, Zealand has a rich and broad portfolio of pre-clinical projects targeting a variety of disease areas, including osteoporosis and obesity-related Diabetes.

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

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

This announcement was originally distributed by Hugin. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Copyright © Hugin AS 2009. All rights reserved.

Contact Information