Zealand Pharma expands its peptide platform with acquisition of Encycle Therapeutics
Zealand Pharma A/S, a Copenhagen-based biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of innovative peptide-based medicines, announces the acquisition of Encycle Therapeutics, Inc., a private Toronto-based biotech company exploiting a unique platform technology that enables the rapid synthesis of macrocyclic peptides exhibiting enhanced drug-like properties.
The acquisition is centered on a pre-clinical lead asset that complements Zealand’s focus on developing next-generation peptide therapeutics for gastrointestinal diseases. The lead asset, ET3764, is being developed as an orally-delivered peptide drug to target integrin alpha-4-beta-7, which is involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The target’s mode of action has been clinically validated in IBD by vedolizumab, an approved, infusion-only alpha-4-beta-7 integrin inhibitor.
“We are excited to add this emerging technology into Zealand Pharma’s peptide platform,” said Emmanuel Dulac, President and Chief Executive Officer at Zealand Pharma. “Encycle has demonstrated the significant potential of its innovative peptide chemistry, and have remained focused on benefitting patients by creating orally-delivered therapies. We look forward to continuing progress by leveraging Zealand’s established leadership in peptide drug development.”