Aventis licenses promising Type 2 diabetes drug from Zealand Pharma  

French pharma company Aventis signs licensing deal to develop and commercialise Zealand Pharma's star drug ZP10

French pharmaceutical company Aventis yesterday signed a licensing agreement with Danish biopharmaceutical company Zealand Pharma to develop and commercialise the new drug ZP10 for Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes). ZP10 is Zealand’s most promising compound, based on the company's proprietary Structure Inducing Probe (SIP) peptide modification technology. It is currently in phase I/II clinical trials.


Aventis will acquire global rights to ZP10, meaning that the company will develop, manufacture and sell the drug. Zealand Pharma will receive a payment of USD 10 million up front. Total milestone payments could amount to USD 100 million, and Zealand will also receive royalties on future product sales. CEO Eva Steiness says that Zealand Pharma is extremely pleased to have signed this licensing deal for ZP10 with such a significant player in diabetes as Aventis.


Treatments for Type 2 diabetes are attractive because of the explosive growth in the number of patients with this condition. According to the International Diabetes Federation, 150 million people worldwide are estimated to have diabetes (90% with Type 2) and the number is expected to double to 300 million in the next 20 years. The news is reported on the Yahoo and Zealand Pharma websites.


Zealand Pharma was founded in 1998 and is based in Copenhagen. The owners include BankInvest (30.7%), the Irish company Elan (19.4%), Lønmodtagernes Dyrtidsfond (Employees Capital Fund) and Dansk Erhversinvestering (jointly about 15%).

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