Zealand appoints new Chief Scientific Officer

Zealand Pharma (NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen: ZEAL) ("Zealand") announces the appointment of Dr Torsten Hoffmann as Executive Vice President and the company's new Chief Scientific Officer.  Torsten joins Zealand with effect from 1 October 2013 from F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd (RO:SWX) ("Roche") where he served as Head of Discovery Chemistry in the Pharma Research division at the company's headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.

In his role at Zealand, Torsten will have the overall responsibility for the company's research and development activities. His focus will be on driving innovation and strengthening Zealand's pipeline of peptide drug candidates by enhancing the research engine and ensuring a strong scientific base for partnering activities. Torsten will join Zealand's Executive Management team and will be based in Copenhagen.  

Commenting on this appointment, David Solomon, Chief Executive Officer of Zealand, said:

"We are extremely fortunate to have attracted Torsten to Zealand. Torsten is known for being a strong and collaborative leader and his impressive and impactful scientific record plus wealth of sector experience and innovative ideas will be extremely valuable to our company.  I am confident that under his leadership, we can drive Zealand's R&D activities further towards tomorrow's breakthrough peptide therapeutics. As we leverage our capabilities with greater innovation and collaboration, as exemplified by our recent agreement with Lilly, I have no doubt that Torsten will play a pivotal role in the growth of Zealand."

At Roche, where he worked since 1997, Dr Torsten Hoffmann was responsible for the identification of many new drug candidates, more than 25 of which entered clinical development.

"I am very excited about the opportunity to lead such a talented R&D team to help fulfill Zealand's mission to deliver innovative peptide medicines that improve patients' lives." said Dr Torsten Hoffmann. "These are exciting times for the company following the launch of its first discovered medicine lixisenatide (Lyxumia®). By strengthening the company's excellent scientific base, I am convinced we can further broaden its research capabilities and accelerate the development of innovative Zealand peptide treatments for the benefit of human health and patient wellbeing."


For further information, please contact:

David H. Solomon, President and Chief Executive Officer

Tel: +45 2220 6300

Hanne Leth Hillman, Vice President and Head of IR & Corporate Communications

Tel: +45 5060 3689, email: [email protected]


About Dr Torsten Hoffmann

Torsten is the author of more than 75 research publications, published conference reports and patent applications. In addition, the work of the Discovery Chemistry Department which he was leading over past 8 years has been documented in more than 280 peer reviewed publications and 540 patent applications. In 2012, he was appointed as Head of the Global Roche Postdoc Fellowship Program which currently has more than 110 active Postdoc fellows. Torsten has received several prizes and awards and since 2007 he is listed in Marquis "Who's Who in the World" and "Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare". Torsten serves on several advisory Boards including Stiftungsrat Schweizerische Studienstiftung Zürich, Switzerland; Stiftungsrat and Vorstand Werner Stiftung Basel, Switzerland; Elsevier/reaxys Database Elsevier SA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Chemistry at the University of Basel, Switzerland.

About Zealand Pharma

Zealand Pharma A/S (NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen: ZEAL) ("Zealand") is a biotechnology company based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Zealand specializes in the discovery, 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, Helsinn Healthcare in chemotherapy induced diarrhea and AbbVie in acute kidney injury.