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Boehringer switches diabetes candidate in Zealand collaboration

Will swap ZP2929 for another GLP-1 receptor agonist
Boehringer Ingelheim headquarters

Boehringer Ingelheim has decided to drop the diabetes and obesity drug candidate ZP2929 it has spent nearly three years developing with Zealand Pharma.

But, although the companies will no longer work together on the GLP-1 agonist compound, it's not the end of their research collaboration, which will now be updated to cover a new, as yet unspecified, lead diabetes candidate.

Zealand Pharma said potential choices include medicines that require once-weekly dosing, something that could give it an edge over the current leading GLP-1 agonist, Novo Nordisk's Victoza (liraglutide), which is dosed once per day.

No specific reason was given for Boehringer's decision to end its interest in ZP2929, although Zealand's CEO David Solomon commented the companies “differed in our views regarding the appropriate way forward in the development of this drug candidate”.

The new lead programme will be covered by the same financial terms agreed in 2011, which include milestone payments and royalties for Zealand. The Danish pharma company also still retains co-promotion rights in Scandinavia.

As for the future of ZP2929, Zealand said it retains rights to the drug candidate and will continue its development as a once-daily treatment for people with diabetes and/or obesity.

The drug is currently in phase I development and Zealand said it will update its clinical development status before the end of March, 2014.

Zealand has existing interests in the field of GLP-1 agonists, having co-developed Lyxumia (lixisenatide) with Sanofi. The drug has been approved in Japan and the EU, but Sanofi decided last year to pull its US filing due in part to the FDA's requirement for cardiovascular safety data.

Article by
Thomas Meek

20th January 2014

From: Research

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