Zealand takes on Takeda's IBD drug with tiny buy­out

Af­ter years de­vel­op­ing a pep­tide to treat short bow­el syn­drome (SBS), Zealand Phar­ma is join­ing the hunt for the white whale of the gas­troin­testi­nal track: in­flam­ma­to­ry bow­el dis­ease.

The Dan­ish biotech is buy­ing out Toron­to-based En­cy­cle Ther­a­peu­tics for up to $80 mil­lion to ac­quire their lead pep­tide, ET3764, along with a bank of ap­prox­i­mate­ly 5,000 unique pep­tide macro­cy­cles. The pre­clin­i­cal drug has the same mech­a­nism as En­tyvio (vedolizum­ab), Take­da’s block­buster ul­cer­a­tive col­i­tis and Crohn’s dis­ease treat­ment – both forms of IBD. The big pitch is that En­cy­cle’s drug is oral, as op­posed to the En­tyvio in­fu­sion.

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