SOURCE: Zealand Pharma

March 08, 2010 05:34 ET

Zealand Pharma Announces Augmentation of its Management Team as it Continues its Growth Strategy

GLOSTRUP, DENMARK--(Marketwire - March 8, 2010) -

Copenhagen, 8 March 2010

Announcement no. 2, 2010

Today Zealand Pharma A/S announces that Dr. Christian Grøndahl has been appointed Chief Scientific Officer, Mr. Mats Blom as Chief Financial Officer and Dr. John Hyttel as Senior Vice President for Operations.

"I am delighted to welcome Christian Grøndahl, Mats Blom and John Hyttel as new members of Zealand's Management Team. Together they bring a wealth of experience, energy and skills to Zealand Pharma as we continue to advance our growth strategy to bring Zealand Pharma A/S to the next level," said Dr. David Horn Solomon, President and CEO of Zealand Pharma A/S.

Dr. Grøndahl, who will take up his duties as CSO April 1, 2010, has a DVM, PhD and DMedSci, all from Copenhagen University. Dr. Grøndahl has 20 years of experience in the medical sciences and has held positions of increasing responsibility at Novo Nordisk for the past 14 years. Until recently, he was Corporate Vice President for Strategic Alliances at Novo Nordisk. Dr. Grøndahl will have overall responsibility for Research and Development at Zealand Pharma A/S and for commercializing Zealand's strong pipeline of products.

Mr. Blom, whose appointment is effective March 2, 2010, received his BA from University of Lund and holds an MBA from the University of Navarra in Barcelona, Spain. Mr. Blom has worked in audit and corporate finance, has been the CFO of two public companies and until recently was CFO of Swedish Orphan International that recently merged with Biovitrum to form Swedish Orphan-Biovitrum of Stockholm. Mr. Blom will be responsible for all financial reporting and for co-ordinating corporate development finance activities at Zealand Pharma A/S. He replaces Mr. Mogens Vang Rasmussen who was at Zealand for 7 years, most recently as COO and CFO.

Dr. Hyttel who began his role as Senior Vice President for Operations on March 1, 2010, is a Founder of Zealand Pharma A/S in 1998. Dr. Hyttel holds degrees including a MSc and DSc from Copenhagen University. Dr. Hyttel served in increasing senior positions at H Lundbeck A/S for 30 years prior to joining Zealand. Dr. Hyttel has also served in senior positions at Zealand, most recently as Head of Regulatory Affairs. In his new position, Dr. Hyttel will be responsible for all operational activities at Zealand Pharma A/S.

"With this new strong management team and the deep experience in basic and clinical science, and commercial and clinical development they bring to the Company, Zealand Pharma A/S is ready and able to advance its Corporate Development Strategy " commented Dr. Daan Ellens, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zealand Pharma A/S.

Zealand's most advanced project, Lixisenatide (ZP10/AVE0010), a GLP-1 agonist for the treatment of Type II Diabetes has been out licensed to Sanofi-Aventis of France. Sanofi-Aventis is completing 9 Phase III trials with first results to be released in June 2010. Sanofi-Aventis is also commercializing a Lantus-Lixisenatide combination product for the treatment of Type II Diabetes that has completed Phase I clinical studies. Submission of IND/MAA for Lixisenatide is expected in 2011.

Further information
David Solomon, President and Chief Executive Officer

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, four of which have been out licensed, three of these 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 has completed 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 LD Pensions, Dansk Erhvervsinvestering and Sunstone Capital as well as the leading international biotech investors CDC Innovation and Allianz Private Equity (both in Paris) and LSP (Amsterdam).


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