Zealand partner Boehringer begins Phase I trials for two obesity and / or diabetes drugs


Zealand Pharma has announced the launch of two Phase I clinical trials by its partner Boehringer Ingelheim to investigate a glucagon / GLP-1 agonist and an amylin analogue for the treatment of obesity and / or type 2 diabetes.

With a dual-acting mechanism, the glucagon / GLP-1 agonist triggers GLP-1 and glucagon receptors and is expected to provide better blood sugar and weight loss control.

The compound is partly based on the effects of a natural gut hormone called oxyntomodulin that is known to minimise food intake and improve energy expenditure.

Amylin is a pancreatic peptide hormone involved in a decrease in food intake and in postprandial plasma glucose levels regulation.

The long-acting amylin analogue compound is reported to have shown significant weight loss in preclinical obesity models.

"We are proud that Boehringer Ingelheim has chosen to move these two novel analogues forward to Phase I."

Both compounds have been invented through a research collaboration between the firms, under which Boehringer Ingelheim funds the entire research, development and commercialisation activities.

Zealand Pharma executive vice-president, chief medical and development officer Adam Steensberg said: "We are proud that Boehringer Ingelheim has chosen to move these two novel analogues forward to Phase I.

“It demonstrates the quality of Zealand's approach in developing novel peptides for the potential benefit of millions of people needing adequate solutions for treating obesity and better treatment options for their diabetes.”

Both the randomised and double-blind Phase I trials will be conducted in Germany and will investigate the safety and tolerability of single ascending doses of the particular compound in healthy volunteers.

It is expected that the results from both trials will be available late next year.