Disease focus

Specialty medicines
We use our internal research capabilities to discover peptide-based specialty
medicines focusing on metabolic and gastrointestinal specialty diseases. We
believe we have the capabilities and expertise to progress new drugs through
development to registration ourselves to retain control and realize significant value.

There are over 1,000 rare diseases and disorders affecting more than 300 million
people. Many of these diseases are life threatening with no available therapy to
help these patient groups.

Peptides have proven to be effective drugs in a number of different diseases, with a significant untapped potential across many therapy areas. We are committed to deliver innovation and life-changing impact for people suffering from some of these specialty and rare diseases.

Gastrointestinal (GI) diseases

Zealand is building on its experience with glepaglutide to further exploit our peptide platform and to develop additional therapies addressing patient needs in GI diseases. Diseases of the digestive system affect multiple organs, including the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines as well as the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. More than 180 GI diseases affect many millions of people.
Some of these diseases have a high prevalence, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but the majority of the GI diseases affect smaller patient populations. There remains a significant need for innovation, as most GI diseases are not served well by current therapies.
We have a solid and advancing understanding of the molecular and
cellular mechanisms dysregulated in GI diseases. Multiple regulatory peptides and secretory factors are produced by the gastrointestinal tract, and these represent high potential novel therapeutic targets.

*National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Opportunities and Challenges in Digestive Diseases Research: Recommendations of the National Commission on Digestive Diseases. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health; 2009. NIH Publication 08–6514.

Metabolic diseases

Zealand has already had considerable success in developing novel treatments for metabolic diseases, with two products on the market with our partner Sanofi providing benefit to diabetes patients. Our pipeline includes dasiglucagon which
completed a successful Phase 2 study in 2016 as well as two programs with Boehringer Ingelheim.

The world is facing a major obesity problem, increasing the prevalence of metabolic diseases, including diabetes. These diseases are associated with deleterious changes in the body’s ability to transform the food we eat into the fuel required to keep us alive. There is a complex interplay between the digestive system, liver, pancreas, endocrine system, body fat and muscle which, if altered, can result in the body having too much or too little of an essential element.
Aside from diabetes, there are hundreds of metabolic diseases, many of which are very rare and with no therapy available.