Zealand Pharma announces positive safety data
Copenhagen – Hellsinn Healthcare has successfully completed a phase Ib trial in Europe with Zealand Pharma’s GLP-2 (glucagone-like peptide 2) peptide antagonist Elsiglutide (ZP1846). The completion of the study, which was conducted under an Investigational New Drug application with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), triggered a milestone payment of €3 million from Hellsinn Healthcare to its Danish development partner. Zealand Pharma A/S had exclusively licensed its drug for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea in cancer patients in 2008 to the global specialist for cancer supportive treatments. Hellsin said it is preparing a Phase IIa study to evaluate the efficacy of elsiglutide in the primary prevention of diarrhoea in colorectal cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. 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 and has shown the ability to promote the regeneration of the epithelial surface damaged by chemotherapy, the underlying cause of chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea, according to Zealand Pharma.