The two companies are currently involved in a joint deal to develop dual-acting glucagon/GLP-1 receptor agonists to treat Type 2 diabetes, but the two firms announced this week a second collaboration will focus on developing a peptide against an undisclosed cardio-metabolic target from Danish biotech Zealand’s portfolio.
The two firms will work together on bringing a peptide candidate into preclinical development, with Boehringer Ingelheim responsible for the conduct of preclinical and clinical development, plus commercialization, and liable to pay Zealand up to €295m for the first successful compound, with further payments and milestones for any additional peptides.
The deal “demonstrates [Zealand’s} strong partner relations with Boehringer Ingelheim, leveraging Zealand’s expertise in the design and development of therapeutic peptides to now cover an additional target in the cardio-metabolic disease area,” said Zealand CEO David Solomon.
Michel Pairet, Boehringer Ingelheim’s Senior Vice President Corporate Division Research and Development non-clinical, added: “Partnering is key to our business strategy and the relationship with Zealand is a long-term and important one,” and the deal “will further complement and strengthen our own discovery and development efforts in the area of cardio-metabolic diseases.”
Zealand has raised its revenue guidance for 2014 up from €13m to €18m on the back of this announcement.
The two firms first formed a venture in 2011, with Boehringer Ingelheim obtaing the rights to Zealand’s GLP-1 candidate ZP2929 for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
However, in January this year the two companies changed the development plan and Boehringer Ingelheim selecting a new lead compound designed for once-weekly dosing replacing ZP2929. The financial terms – Zealand to receive up to €376m – remained the same, while the rights of ZP2929 returned to Zealand.