COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Sept. 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zealand announces the initiation of a clinical Phase II development program for its proprietary peptide therapeutic, ZP1848, for the treatment of Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS). ZP1848 is a long-acting, stable and soluble GLP-2 receptor agonist invented and wholly owned by Zealand.
Professor, MD, Ph.D and lead study investigator, Palle Bekker Jeppesen, the Department of Medical Gastroenterology, University Hospital of Copenhagen, commented: "Short Bowel Syndrome is a very serious condition affecting a growing number of patients who have had larger parts of their intestines removed. Patients with Short Bowel Syndrome have reduced ability to absorb nutrients and to maintain adequate fluid and electrolyte balance, which makes many of them dependent on regular access to parenteral (intravenous) nutritional support through a central catheter. This is associated with shortened life span, potentially life-threatening complications including sepsis, blood clots, liver or renal damage, and severely reduced quality-of-life. GLP-2 based therapy has demonstrated the ability to improve intestinal absorption with the potential to reduce the need for parenteral support and offer patients relief and flexibility."
In preclinical studies, ZP1848 has shown efficacy on small intestine growth and demonstrated the physico-chemical properties of a long-acting, stable and soluble peptide therapeutic with the potential for convenient administration in liquid formulation. Zealand has also investigated ZP1848 in a combined single (SAD) and multiple (MAD) ascending dose Phase I trial. Results from this trial demonstrated that ZP1848 is safe and well tolerated with a supportive effect on bowel function. The attractive potential identified for ZP1848 in Short Bowel Syndrome and the opportunity for Zealand to initiate a clinical Phase II development program in this specialist care indication is an important step in line with the company's strategic focus on increasing the value of its proprietary pipeline.