Zealand Pharma’s founding
Zealand Pharmaceuticals A/S was founded on October 19th, 1998 as a biopharmaceutical company focusing exclusively on the development of peptide drugs to more safely and effectively treat areas of high unmet medical need. Zealand was incorporated as the natural outgrowth of the virtual company, Peptide Probe Technologies Aps, which at the time was the patent holder of SIP® technology — a vital scientific asset for the company and its lead compound, lixisenatide. Zealand would like to acknowledge the vision and dedication of its principal founding members: Lars Hellerung Christiansen and SIP® inventor Dr. Bjarne Due Larsen.
Working together with its other owners Leif Helth Jensen, Dan Buxbom, and Florian Schönharting, Zealand appointed its first management team led by CEO, Professor Dr. Eva Steiness:
Dr Scient John Hyttel VP Biology
MI Chem E, MA David Knott VP Medicinal Chemistry
MD, PhD Jørgen Søberg Petersen Head, Pharmacology
Cand Pharm PhD Niels Mørk Head, Bioanalysis
MD, Dr. Med.Sci. Jens Damsgaard Mikkelsen Head, Molecular Pharmacology
Cand Pharm Hanne Løve Lembøl Project Manager
Under their leadership, Zealand’s scientists were able to synthesize lixisenatide in their first year of operations, currently the most advanced compound in a clinical pipeline that includes 7 projects spanning three therapeutic areas: metabolic, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases.