Azelon Pharmaceuticals, formerly Zelos Therapeutics, announced a restructuring of the company that includes additions to the management team.
Prospect Venture Partners led the $4.5 million Series A financing to support the clinical development of Azelon’s ZT-034, a nasal spray formulation of teriparatide for the treatment of osteoporosis which had a promising profile in initial human safety and pharmacology studies. Other Azelon investors are Lighthouse Capital Partners and Covington Venture Fund.
Few alternatives are available for osteoporosis patients who seek anabolic treatments that can build new bone. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) analogs such as teriparatide are an important but underutilized therapeutic option for osteoporotic patients at high risk of fracture. A nasal spray formulation of teriparatide provides a simple and convenient approach to PTH therapy. Nasal spray ZT-034 is being developed as an alternative to Eli Lilly and Company’s Forteo® (teriparatide [rDNA origin]), which is delivered by subcutaneous injection. The current financing is intended to support a Phase IIa pharmacodynamic study of ZT-034.
Azelon has also announced the appointment of industry veteran Don Hayden as Executive Chairman and Joan Lau as president and CEO of Azelon. Dr. Lau succeeds Brian MacDonald who will remain on as a senior clinical advisor to the company. Mr. Hayden spent 25 years with Bristol-Myers Squibb, most recently as Executive Vice President and President, Americas, overseeing two major pharmaceutical units and two healthcare businesses with combined annual sales in excess of $10 billion. Among other board positions, he is Chairman of Insmed (NASDAQ: INSM) and is Lead Director at Amicus (NASDAQ: FOLD). Dr. Lau previously was CEO of Locus Pharmaceuticals, a venture backed drug discovery company. Prior to Locus, she held positions of increasing responsibility at Merck.
“I want to thank Brian for his leadership and am glad he has elected to remain involved with the program he initiated,” said Alex Barkas, member of the Azelon board and managing partner at Prospect Venture Partners. “With the new financing, additions of Joan and Don to the management team, and a clear focus, I am confident Azelon will achieve success in its effort to develop a high value treatment for osteoporosis patients.”
About Azelon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Azelon Pharmaceuticals is focused on the development of novel formulations for the treatment of osteoporosis. Its lead program, ZT-034, a nasal spray formulation of teriparatide (PTH1-34), offers a convenient alternative for patients at high risk of fracture. Led by an experienced team of biopharmaceutical executives and funded by leading venture capital investors, Azelon is advancing ZT-034 into mid stage clinical trials.