Zealand Pharma and PolyTherics Enter Collaboration Agreement for Novel Optimised Biopharmaceuticals
(Copenhagen, 2 March 2010) Zealand Pharma ("Zealand"), the Danish biopharmaceutical company recognised as a leader in the discovery and development of peptide-based drugs and PolyTherics Limited ("PolyTherics"), innovators in precision engineering of proteins to improve their pharmacokinetic properties, today announced a research collaboration.
Zealand has developed a number of peptide-based therapeutic candidates which are amenable to PEGylation. PolyTherics has broad capabilities in improving the duration of action of biotherapeutics using targeted PEGylation technologies. Both companies will contribute their respective expertise to defining the characteristics of PEGylated peptides as novel therapeutics.
This new research initiative, based on peptide candidates discovered by Zealand for the treatment of metabolic, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases, will be supported by funding from the EUREKA Eurostars program www.eurostars-eureka.eu. EUREKA Eurostars is the first European funding and support program to be specifically dedicated to SMEs (Small to Medium size Entreprises), with funding support through the National and European Union 7th Framework Programme. PolyTherics receives funding from the Technology Strategy Board in the UK while the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation provides funding for Zealand.
The project is scheduled to run for 24 months, with the first 12 months committed to experimental research and the second 12 months to selection of a lead candidate suitable for pre-clinical development.
Dr Keith Powell, Chief Executive Officer of PolyTherics, said: "We are very excited to launch this research collaboration with Zealand Pharma. The opportunity to embark on this relationship demonstrates the broad applicability of PolyTherics' proprietary technologies to biologics with huge clinical development potential."
Dr. David Horn Solomon, Chief Executive of Zealand Pharma said, "Our collaboration with PolyTherics will result in peptide-based drug offerings from Zealand that extend the convenience and safety in a range of indications. We are pleased to work closely with PolyTherics and apply their strong technology platform to our programs.