Zealand Pharma appoints new Chief Operating Officer

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| Source: Zealand Pharma A/S
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Copenhagen, 2013-01-04 10:30 CET (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Company Announcement

No. 1/2013

- Agneta Svedberg named as successor to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, John Hyttel, who is retiring after 14 years with the company

Copenhagen, 4 January 2013 - Zealand Pharma (NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen: ZEAL) announces the appointment of Agneta Svedberg as the company’s new Chief Operating Officer. Effective from 1 February 2013, she will join the Executive Management team to replace Senior Vice President and COO, John Hyttel, one of the founders of Zealand Pharma, who is now retiring after having worked with the company since its inception in 1998.

Agneta Svedberg (Swedish, born 1963) joins Zealand Pharma from Cantargia AB, a Swedish biotech company, where she has held a position as Chief Executive Officer. Agneta has more than 20 years of experience in drug development from different leadership functions in both biotech and big pharma companies, including more than ten years with Genmab A/S in Copenhagen, where she was Global Head of Clinical Development and held various senior management positions, the last year as Copenhagen site Manager with responsibility for 200 people. Prior to this, she was Head of Clinical Development (Europe) at Oxigene Europe AB and also held managerial positions at Pharmacia & Upjohn AB in Sweden. Agneta Svedberg holds a M.Sc. in Radiation Physics from Lund University and an Executive MBA from Lund University School of Economics and Management, Sweden.

Commenting on this announcement, David Solomon, President and CEO of Zealand Pharma, said: "I am really delighted to welcome Agneta to our management team as a worthy successor to John Hyttel. John has been instrumental in the successful development of Zealand Pharma’s business and organization since the company’s inception, and the Board and I thank him for his valuable contribution and wish him the very best upon his retirement.

With our first drug discovery, Lyxumia® (lixisenatide) moving towards an expected global launch in 2013, our company now stands on the threshold of a new level of maturity and growth, and we are confident that Agneta holds the right competences to help structure and steer our organization optimally to support this transition, both on a strategic and operational level."

Commenting on her appointment, Agneta Svedberg said: "I am very pleased to be joining Zealand Pharma, which I believe has a unique position as one of the world’s leading peptide drug companies. With Lyxumia® nearing commercial stage under a strong partnership with Sanofi, a deep pipeline of other drug candidates, renowned peptide drug innovation capabilities and strong financials, the company is entering a new era, and I look forward to be working closely with the management team and the rest of the organization for its continued success."

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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 Communication

Tel: +45 5060 3689, email: hlh@zealandpharma.com

 

About Zealand Pharma

Zealand Pharma A/S (NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen: ZEAL) is a biotechnology company based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Zealand Pharma 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 diabetes/metabolic diseases, and its lead drug invention is lixisenatide (Lyxumia® 1), a once-daily GLP-1 agonist, which is licensed to Sanofi for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Lixisenatide is currently under regulatory review in a large number of countries globally, and in November 2012 the European Committee for Human Medicinal Products issued a positive recommendation for approval of the product in Europe.

Zealand Pharma has a partnering strategy for the development and commercialization of its products and in addition to the collaboration with Sanofi in Type 2 diabetes, the company has partnerships with Boehringer Ingelheim in diabetes/obesity, Abbott in acute kidney injury and Helsinn Healthcare in chemotherapy induced diarrhea. Zealand Pharma focuses its activities in disease areas where existing treatments fail to adequately serve patient needs and where the market potential for improved treatments through the use of peptide drugs is high. For further information: www.zealandpharma.com

1. Lyxumia is the proprietary name submitted to the EMA for lixisenatide. The proprietary name for lixisenatide in the United States is under consideration. Lixisenatide is not currently approved or licensed anywhere in the world.