Following lukewarm launch and layoffs, Zealand Pharma is licensing out its diabetes drug to Novo Nordisk – Endpoints News

In March, Zealand Phar­ma gut­ted its US work­force and said it was look­ing for strate­gic part­ner­ships for its di­a­betes prod­ucts fol­low­ing a dis­ap­point­ing first year on the mar­ket for its di­a­betes treat­ment Ze­ga­logue.
On Wednes­day morn­ing, the Dan­ish biotech fol­lowed up with its plans, an­nounc­ing it is li­cens­ing Ze­ga­logue out to No­vo Nordisk in ex­change for DKK 25 mil­lion up­front (ap­prox­i­mate­ly $3.3 mil­lion USD). In ad­di­tion, Zealand can get DKK 45 mil­lion in near-term mile­stones and DKK 220 mil­lion in sales.
No­vo Nordisk will now take on the mar­ket­ing of Ze­ga­logue world­wide, adding an­oth­er drug to its wide di­a­betes port­fo­lio. But Zealand will still be in charge of cer­tain reg­u­la­to­ry and de­vel­op­ment work to get Ze­ga­logue ap­proved out­side the US.
In March of last year, Zealand won its first ap­proval for Ze­ga­logue, a glucagon ana­logue, to treat se­vere low blood sug­ar in di­a­betes pa­tients old­er than 6 years of age. How­ev­er, Ze­ga­logue fell flat in the mar­ket — and the biotech slashed sales pro­jec­tions for 2022 by more than half as a re­sult.
In ad­di­tion to hol­low­ing out its work­force, Zealand re­vamped its lead­er­ship, re­plac­ing CEO Em­manuel Du­lac with R&D head Adam Steens­berg. It al­so hired David Kendall as CMO, and in No­vem­ber, the biotech will be get­ting a new CFO in Hen­ri­ette Wen­nicke, who ac­tu­al­ly be­gan her ca­reer at No­vo Nordisk.
In a state­ment this morn­ing, Steens­berg said, “This agree­ment is an­oth­er im­por­tant step in our strat­e­gy to es­tab­lish com­mer­cial part­ner­ships as we cre­ate and de­vel­op in­no­v­a­tive next gen­er­a­tion pep­tide ther­a­peu­tics.”
Zealand is al­so work­ing on adding to Ze­ga­logue’s in­di­ca­tions — the biotech said it’s plan­ning to sub­mit an NDA ear­ly next year on the back of a Phase III read­out of the glucagon ana­logue for con­gen­i­tal hy­per­in­sulin­ism in in­fants and young chil­dren.
Illumina on Tuesday laid out two scenarios for its $8 billion Grail acquisition, both of which put itself in a tough spot.
The San Diego-based company plans to appeal a European Commission decision to block the merger, with the bloc reasoning Illumina could use its DNA sequencing dominance to throttle Grail competitors’ access to the technology. But if the lengthy appeal fails, Illumina is preparing for another option: divesting Grail.
Unlock this story instantly and join 149,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it’s free.
Second time’s the charm for Amylyx and its experimental ALS drug. In an unusual twist, outside experts on an FDA advisory committee voted 7-2 in favor of approving AMX0035, just months after voting against the drug in a first adcomm.
Even more unusual was a promise from both CDER’s neuroscience director Billy Dunn and Amylyx’s co-CEOs that AMX0035 would be pulled from the market if the drug fails its ongoing Phase III Phoenix trial.
European regulators blocked Illumina’s $8 billion acquisition of Grail on Tuesday, dealing a whiplash blow to the biotech just days after it prevailed over an FTC challenge.
The EC put out a statement on the move, saying the deal would have “stifled innovation, and reduced choice” in the growing blood-based cancer screening test market. Specifically, the bloc noted that because other companies rely on Illumina’s NGS systems technology for their own products, a merger would have granted Illumina an unfair advantage over its rivals.
Giuseppe Ciaramella joined Moderna in 2014, back when the mRNA specialist only employed about 70 people. There, as CSO of the infectious disease division, he helped build the initial mRNA vaccine pipeline and steered Moderna’s first vaccine program toward an IND.
He left for Beam Therapeutics four years later, before a wildly successful Covid-19 vaccine propelled Moderna to the biotech hall of fame.
Unlock this story instantly and join 149,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it’s free.
On the cusp of asking the FDA to approve its cancer drug for progressing desmoid tumors, SpringWorks is out with a fuller picture of the therapy’s performance in a Phase III trial four months after declaring a topline win.
But before the biotech could disclose those results in a late-breaking oral presentation at ESMO, SpringWorks teed up investor interest with a $225 million private placement and an expanded collaboration with GSK on a Blenrep combination, which includes $75 million in equity and $550 million on the line. Those two deals, padding SpringWorks’ cash reserves until 2026, led to a nearly 6% uptick in the company’s shares {SWTX} Wednesday afternoon.
Unlock this story instantly and join 149,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it’s free.
PARIS — In 2020, Roche’s Tecentriq, a PD-L1 inhibitor, got an FDA nod in combination with Avastin for untreated advanced liver cancer, becoming the first immune checkpoint therapy to make it to the first line for these tumors. That approval, deemed a “landmark,” came on the back of a Phase III trial that showed the Tecentriq combo prolonged survival longer than Nexavar — the Bayer drug that had stood unbeaten as the standard of care in first line liver cancer since 2007.
Unlock this story instantly and join 149,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it’s free.
PARIS — This weekend at ESMO, the KRAS battle between Amgen and its pesky biotech rivals at Mirati will continue with new slices of combo data for advanced cases of colorectal cancer. And once again, Mirati will get in with a solid punch.
Amgen has some combination data on its approved pioneer Lumakras and its EGFR inhibitor Vectibix with a 30% overall response rate — way better than the meager 9.3% it posted earlier for the monotherapy.
Unlock this story instantly and join 149,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it’s free.
When Bruno Abner and his creative team started working up campaign ideas for a new hormone-free contraceptive for women called Phexxi, they knew they wanted the message to be bold and unapologetic.
Then along came actress Annie Murphy. Best known for her comedic turn as Alexis Rose on the hit show “Schitt’s Creek,” Murphy opened the door to humor when McCann Health’s client Evofem Biosciences suggested her as a spokesperson.
Unlock this article along with other benefits by subscribing to one of our paid plans.
There’s Just, and there’s Good.
The first was sold in summer 2019. And the PD-1 IL-2 portion of the latter is now entering the fold of Roche.
The two biotechs aren’t related, but Good Therapeutics founder and CEO John Mulligan “liked the idea of having Good and Just in Seattle,” calling his startup’s moniker a “riff” on the Evotec-acquired Just Biotherapeutics.
Unlock this story instantly and join 149,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it’s free.
Bioscience & Technology Business Center
The University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas
© Endpoints Company 2022
If you’re already an Endpoints subscriber, enter your email below for a magic link that lets you log in quickly without using a password. Please note the magic link is one-time use only and expires after 24 hours.
We’ll e-mail you a link to set a new password. Please note this link is one-time use only and is valid for only 24 hours.


Leave a Comment