Denmark’s Zealand Pharma starts Phase I diabetes drug trials

Denmark’s Zealand Pharma starts Phase I diabetes drug trials

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Zealand Pharma has begun Phase I trials on an experimental diabetes andobesity drug known as ZP2929, triggering a milestone payment from German partner Boehringer Ingelheim, the Danish biopharmaceutical company said on Thursday.

The milestone payment would help to support future development of other diabetes drugs and treatments for people suffering from obesity, Zealand Pharma said.

It did not reveal the size of the payment from Boehringer Ingelheim, which it teamed up with in June last year, but said it would not alter its 2012 guidance, which includes payments of 37 million Danish crowns ($6.4 million) in connection with the development of ZP2929.

Zealand Pharma is developing ZP2929 for treatment of patients with Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

“ZP2929 may turn out to address a large unmet medical need in the field of metabolic diseases, namely better treatment of patients with diabetes and/or patients who are overweight or obese,” Chief Scientific Officer Christian Grondahl said in a statement.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Boehringer Ingelheim finances all clinical development activities, while Zealand Pharma is responsible for conducting the first Phase I study, the Danish firm said. Boehringer Ingelheim will be responsible for clinical development thereafter. ($1 = 5.7840 Danish crowns)

(Reporting by Mette Fraende; Editing by David Goodman)