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Boehringer initiates phase 1 trials of Zealand’s analogs for obesity and diabetes

PBR Staff Writer Published 23 August 2017

Zealand Pharma says that its partner Boehringer Ingelheim has launched phase 1 clinical trials to assess glucagon/GLP-1 agonist and an amylin analog as new treatment options for obesity and diabetes.

Both the compounds were discovered through the research collaboration between Zealand and Boehringer Ingelheim.

According to Zealand, the glucagon/GLP-1 agonist activates two key gut hormone receptors GLP-1 and glucagon. With its dual action mechanism, the glucagon/GLP-1 agonist could offer better regulation of blood sugar and weight loss than the existing single agonist treatments.

The Danish biotech company says that the compound partly builds on the effects of oxyntomodulin, a natural gut hormone known to decrease intake of food and boost energy expenditure in humans.

A randomized, double-blind study in healthy humans of the dual glucagon/GLP-1 agonist will be held in Germany to assess its safety and tolerability of single ascending doses. The findings of the phase 1 trial for the glucagon/GLP-1 agonist are likely to come out in late 2018.

Zealand Pharma’s other candidate is an analog of amylin, a pancreatic peptide hormone known to play a key role in bringing down the intake of food and in controlling the postprandial plasma glucose levels.

The Danish biotech firm says that its compound had shown considerable weight loss results in preclinical models of obesity. A phase 1 trial for the compound will be held in Germany to study its safety and tolerability with data expected to be released in late 2018.

Zealand executive vice president, chief medical and development officer Adam Steensberg said that the progression of the two new analogs into clinical trials reflects the company’s ability in developing novel peptides for people looking for adequate solutions for obesity treatment and better treatment options for their diabetes.

“We have a strong partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim and look forward to future studies that will establish if the impressive preclinical weight loss results can be confirmed in clinical trials.”