Today, Zealand Pharma (NASDAQ OMX: ZEAL) ("Zealand"), announced an exclusive peptide drug research and development collaboration agreement with Eli Lilly and Company ("Lilly").
Under the agreement, Zealand will collaborate with Lilly in the design and development of potentially first-in-class peptide therapeutics for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and obesity based on a novel approach discovered by Lilly. The companies will share in the funding, risk and reward of the program. Future expansion of the collaboration to additional drug targets and disease areas is possible. No financial terms of the agreement have been disclosed.
"We are very excited about this collaboration that allows us to work with Lilly and exploit the synergies of our mutual focus to provide better diabetes medicines. Forming such an important partnership is a further powerful validation of Zealand's unique capabilities in peptide innovation and development," said David Solomon, CEO of Zealand. "The structure and potential of this collaboration is an embodiment of our strategy to apply a partner-focused approach in our continued efforts to push the boundaries for designing novel peptide therapies and expand their use to benefit patients and build long term value in our business."
"Lilly scientists have discovered a novel peptide hormone-based approach which has the potential to lower blood glucose as well as body weight," said Ruth Gimeno, Ph.D., chief scientific officer for diabetes drug discovery at Lilly. "We are pleased to engage in a collaborative program with Zealand with the objective of advancing this concept toward early development."
Financial outlook for 2013 unchanged
This collaboration with Lilly does not change the 2013 financial outlook for Zealand as presented by the company in its Interim report for H1 2013 (Company Announcement no. 20/2013).
For further information, please contact:
David Solomon, President and Chief Executive Officer – Tel: +45 22 20 63 00
Hanne Leth Hillman, Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications – Tel: +45 50 60 36 89, email: [email protected]
About Zealand Pharma
Zealand Pharma A/S (NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen: ZEAL) ("Zealand") is a biotechnology company based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Zealand specializes in the invention, optimization and development of novel peptide drugs and has a broad and mature pipeline of drug candidates identified through its own drug discovery activities. The company's focus lies in the field of cardio-metabolic diseases, diabetes and obesity in particular, and its lead drug invention is lixisenatide, a once-daily prandial GLP-1 agonist, which is licensed to Sanofi for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Lixisenatide (marketed by Sanofi as Lyxumia®) is approved in Europe and Japan and under regulatory review in a large number of other countries globally, including in the US (NDA submission accepted in Feb 2013).
Zealand has a partnering strategy for the development and commercialization of its products and in addition to the license agreement with Sanofi in Type 2 diabetes, the company has partnerships with Boehringer Ingelheim in diabetes/obesity, Lilly in diabetes and obesity, Helsinn Healthcare in chemotherapy induced diarrhea and AbbVie in acute kidney injury.
For further information: www.zealandpharma.com