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Zealand Pharma Receives Milestone Payment from Helsinn Healthcare

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News

Zealand Pharma Receives Milestone Payment from Helsinn Healthcare

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Zealand Pharma A/S announces the receipt of a EUR 500,000 (DKK 3.73 million*) milestone payment as part of its license agreement with Helsinn Healthcare for the development of ZP1846 for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea. This milestone payment has no impact on the Company’s outlook for 2010.

In November 2008, Zealand Pharma out-licensed ZP1846 to Helsinn Healthcare, a global cancer supportive care company. Helsinn Healthcare received a worldwide exclusive license to ZP1846 and assumed responsibility for all further development, regulatory approvals, manufacturing, marketing and sales of ZP1846.

Under the terms of the agreement, Zealand Pharma will receive development and sales based milestone payments of up to EUR 140 million, of which EUR 10 million has been received till date. Zealand will also receive a royalty on 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”) analog. 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 in this indication damaged by chemotherapy, the underlying cause of chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea.

Helsinn Healthcare recently initiated a Phase Ib trial in five centres in Europe involving colorectal cancer patients following the completion of a Phase Ia clinical study of ZP1846 by Zealand Pharma in the United States. The current Phase Ib trial has enrolled and will continue to enrol colorectal cancer patients until the trial objectives have been met and valuable dose information for the Phase IIa has been obtained.
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