16 Dec 2010   |   News

Zealand triggers €500K milestone payment in deal with Helsinn


Peptide drug specialist Zealand Pharma has announced that it has received a €500,000 milestone payment as part of its license agreement with Helsinn Healthcare, for the development of the drug ZP1846 for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea. 

The company outlicensed ZP1846 in November 2008. Helsinn Healthcare was granted a worldwide exclusive license to ZP1846 and assumed responsibility for all further development, regulatory approvals, manufacturing, marketing and sales. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Zealand is eligible to receive development and sales based milestone payments of up to €140 million, plus a royalty on any sales. In addition, Zealand Pharma has an option to obtain sales and marketing rights for the Nordic countries. 

ZP1846 is a novel, potent and selective glucagon-like-peptide-2 (GLP-2) analogue. GLP-2 is a naturally occurring peptide hormone produced primarily by the small intestine. It is secreted in response to food ingestion and acts by binding to the GLP-2 receptor, which is predominantly found in the gastrointestinal tract. GLP-2 plays a key role in intestinal growth and formation by promoting regeneration of the epithelial surface.

Helsinn Healthcare recently initiated a Phase Ib trial in five centres in Europe, following the completion of a Phase Ia clinical study of ZP1846 by Zealand Pharma in the US.

David Solomon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Zealand Pharma, said, “We are pleased with the development of this important programme with our partner Helsinn Healthcare and encouraged by the data that has been generated to date, which has concluded that ZP1846 is safe and well tolerated.”

Never miss an update from Science|Business:   Newsletter sign-up