The board at Action Pharma says it has decided to focus the Danish company’s strategy on partnering of its lead projects and to “explore the opportunity of strengthening through mergers and acquisitions or consolidation”.

Chairman Sten Verland said that following a “satisfactory outcome of the Phase I and II clinical development of its two lead programmes”, a change of direction is now required. The Holte-based group has two first-in-class drugs, namely AP214, which is in Phase II to prevent post-surgical kidney injury after major cardiac surgery, and the once-daily oral antidiabetic AP1030.

The latter has completed a Phase Ib trial in obese individuals and shown positive effects on glucose metabolism. Action believes that AP1030 has the potential to be superior to drugs such as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogues, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and glitazones.

The company has elected a new chief executive, Ingelise Saunders, saying the appointment “will bring substantial M&A and partnering expertise to the company”. Ms Saunders will replace Soren Nielsen, who will take up the position of chief operating officer; she has served as CEO at Denmark’s ACE BioSciences and the UK’s Celltech Pharmaceuticals and also held senior posts during 16 years at Novo Nordisk.