The Danish Pharma Giant entered into a licensing agreement with California-based Zosana in January 2014 to develop a transdermal form of its human GLP-1 (Glucagon-Like Peptide-1) analogue, semaglutide, using Zosana’s proprietary microneedle patch system.
But after fifteen months, Novo Nordisk has notified its partner its intentions to discontinue the collaboration with all technology rights related to the field of GLP-1 returning to Zosana.
Zosana’s technology platform, the ZP Patch, uses drug coated microneedles on a patch the size of a US quarter to offer an alternative administration to injections for biopharmaceuticals and peptides. The transdermal system has been used in over 30 drug candidates, according to the company.
While Novo Nordisk spokesperson Nina Weimann would not divulge details of why it had pulled out of the deal when contacted, one reason could be the firm’s recent trial success of an oral formulation of the long-acting GLP-1 analogue.
In February, the firm announced positive Phase II results for OG217SC, with efficacy and safety of the oral formulation found to be comparable to that of subcutaneous semaglutide in a trial of around 600 people with type 2 diabetes.
At the time executive vice president and CSO Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen described this clinical proof as “an important milestone for oral peptide therapy within the field of diabetes.”