Eli Lilly and Zealand Pharma announced they will be partnering on a diabetes drug.

U.S. pharmacy giant Eli Lilly and Company and Denmark’s Zealand Pharma are working on new treatments for type 2 diabetes and obesity, the companies announced.

The exclusive peptide drug research agreement means Zealand, a biotechnology company in Copenhagen, will work with Lilly to develop a therapy for the diseases. The companies will share in the funding, risk and reward.

Lilly scientists have discovered a new peptide hormone-based approach, which may lower blood glucose and body weight. While the financial terms between Lilly and Zealand were not disclosed, it is no secret that type 2 diabetes and obesity are among the most vexing issues for healthcare providers. 

“The structure and potential of this collaboration is an embodiment of our strategy to apply a partner-focused approach in our continued efforts to push the boundaries for designing novel peptide therapies and expand their use to benefit patients and build long-term value in our business,” said David Solomon, CEO of Zealand.

This firm specializes in the development of peptide drugs. Its drug lixisenatide is licensed to Sanofi and used for treating type 2 diabetes in Europe and Japan. It also has partnerships with Boehringer Ingelheim, AbbVie and Helsinn Healthcare.