Zealand and Orbit Discovery enter into research collaboration


Company announcement - No. 45 / 2017

Zealand and Orbit Discovery enter into research collaboration

  • Combining Zealand's expertise in discovery and development of peptide therapeutics with Orbit's unique peptide libraries to identify novel peptide drug candidates
  • Collaboration is in line with Zealand's strategy to access cutting-edge technology in the development of specialty medicines to treat gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases

Copenhagen, Denmark, and Oxford, United Kingdom, August xx, 2017 - Zealand Pharma A/S ("Zealand") and Orbit Discovery Ltd ("Orbit") announce that they have entered into a multi-target research collaboration to identify novel peptide therapeutics using Orbit's proprietary peptide display technology.

Zealand has a strong track record and world-leading capabilities in the discovery and development of peptides for therapeutic use in gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases. This includes expertise in optimization of physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties. Orbit has developed a proprietary technology that enables both random and focused libraries of linear and cyclic peptides to be generated incorporating natural and non-natural amino acids. The companies will work together to screen Orbit's peptide libraries against undisclosed targets to identify novel drug candidates for optimization by Zealand.

Andrew Parker, Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer of Zealand, comments: "We are very pleased to have established this collaboration with Orbit. Accessing cutting-edge technology is a key element of our strategy to enhance our peptide capabilities and expand our future clinical pipeline. Screening Orbit's peptide libraries will provide an additional option for Zealand to identify novel peptide therapeutics against the broadest range of drug targets for the treatment of gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases."

Alex Batchelor, Chief Executive Officer of Orbit Discovery, comments: "We are delighted to be working with Zealand, a recognized expert in the peptide field. Orbit's technology offers two key advantages over existing peptide display approaches: the greatest chemical diversity and the ability to screen in the widest array of assay formats. We look forward to working together to identify novel peptide therapeutic leads."

For further information, please contact:

Britt Meelby Jensen, President and CEO 
Tel.: +45 51 67 61 28, e-mail: bmj@zealandpharma.com

Mats Blom, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Tel.: +45 31 53 79 73, e-mail: mabl@zealandpharma.com

About Zealand Pharma A/S
Zealand Pharma A/S (Nasdaq Copenhagen and New York: ZEAL) ("Zealand") is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, design and development of innovative peptide-based medicines. Zealand has a portfolio of medicines and product candidates under license collaborations with Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim as well as a pipeline of internal product candidates focusing on specialty gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases.

Zealand's first invented medicine, lixisenatide, a once-daily prandial GLP-1 receptor agonist for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, is licensed to Sanofi. Lixisenatide is marketed as Adlyxin® in the U.S. and as Lyxumia® in the rest of the world. Lixisenatide has been developed in a combination with basal insulin glargine (Lantus®) and is marketed as Soliqua® 100/33 in the U.S. and has been approved as Suliqua® in Europe and launched in the Netherlands.

Zealand's clinical pipeline includes: dasiglucagon (ZP4207, single-dose rescue treatment) for acute, severe hypoglycemia (Phase 3); glepaglutide (ZP1848) for short bowel syndrome (Phase 2 completed); dasiglucagon (ZP4207, multiple-dose version) intended for use in a dual-hormone artificial pancreas system to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia and provide better diabetes management (Phase 2) as well as for the treatment of congenital hyperinsulinism; and other earlier-stage clinical and preclinical peptide therapeutics.
Zealand is based in Copenhagen (Glostrup), Denmark. For further information about the Company's business and activities, please visit www.zealandpharma.com or follow Zealand on Twitter @ZealandPharma or LinkedIn

* Dasiglucagon and glepaglutide are proposed International Nonproprietary Names (pINN).

About Orbit Discovery
Orbit Discovery is a private biotechnology company based in Oxford, UK, which was established in 2015 to commercialize a unique DNA-encoded peptide display technology developed by Professors Graham Ogg and Terence Rabbitts, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford University.

The technology supports the presentation of peptide libraries with significant chemical diversity, including those containing natural amino acids, non-natural amino acids, linear peptides and constrained peptides. These libraries can then be screened in the widest array of biological assays, including cellular functional screening.

Orbit's business model is to both pursue internal drug discovery programs and initiate collaborative research and development programs with pharmaceutical and biotech company partners. Both aspects of Orbit's business model are underpinned by the technology's efficiency, which allows well-characterized and selective peptides to be identified against existing and novel drug targets across a broad number of therapeutic areas.