Denmark Business Report 2017

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Discovery Reports

Zealand Pharma sets sights on Asia

Zealand Pharma has entered a new era of discovering and developing novel peptide-based medicines

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 June, 2017, 3:05pm
UPDATED : Friday, 30 June, 2017, 3:05pm

Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports

Zealand Pharma, a Danish biotech company listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen and with market capitalisation of US$440 million as of May, has entered a new era of discovering and developing novel peptide-based medicines. The approval of Soliqua 100/33 and its rapid launch in the United States are recent major milestones, accelerating Zealand’s transformation towards leadership in novel therapies for speciality gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases, with increased control over late-stage development and ultimately commercialisation in selected geographies.

“To deliver on our ambitions, we have strengthened our competencies, and continue to develop and improve our capabilities in research and clinical development. We’re set up to take products all the way through registration, retaining control and full profit potential,” says Britt Meelby Jensen, president and CEO.

Successful implementation of its strategy will propel Zealand towards being a fully integrated biotech company, building on its strong research and development platform while strengthening the organisation and continuing to expand relationships with customers – leading specialists, payers and patient organisations.

For the first time, Zealand has three product candidates in phase 2 development, where it maintains full control and profit potential. Glepaglutide is the frontrunner programme in its gastrointestinal franchise addressing short bowel syndrome, a life-threatening chronic disease.

In the field of diabetes, Zealand is working on a ready-to-use dasiglucagon hypo pen for insulin shock, offering patients an effective, reliable and intuitive treatment for hypoglycaemia. Dasiglucagon also has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Through a collaboration with Boston-based Beta Bionics, fuelled by a shared commitment to transform diabetes treatment for the benefit of millions of patients, Zealand aims to create a true artificial pancreas system.

“Being a highly innovative company, we continuously look for new ideas and novel peptides that could be developed into drugs,” says Andrew Parker, chief scientific officer. “Strategic collaborations are always of interest, and Asia is becoming a focus area. We welcome research collaborations with academia and like-minded biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and also have several early-stage metabolic programmes available for partnering.”