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Takeda ends obesity alliance with Amylin

Comes more than a year after development of lead product was pulled

Takeda and Amylin have finally terminated the agreement that saw them come together to develop new treatments for obesity.

The announcement comes more than a year after the two companies discontinued development of their lead product pramlintide/metreleptin after some patients taking the drug actually produced antibodies against it, undermining its effectiveness.

At the time, Takeda and Amylin said they planned to continue working together to investigate the use of metreleptin in treating obesity, but developments during the past 18 months mean this is no longer the case.

Perhaps most significantly these have included the purchase of Amylin by Bristol-Myers Squibb in July, 2012, in a novel deal that expanded BMS' existing diabetes partnership with AstraZeneca, giving the Anglo-Swedish company the rights to half of any profits made by Amylin in its new form as a subsidiary of BMS.

But other developments saw two obesity drugs – Vivus' Qsymia and Arena/Eisai's Belviq – come to the market, marking the first major development in obesity medicine in more than a decade.

According to Takeda, the termination of the Amylin deal will not impact its financial statement for 2012, and the company will continue trying to crack the obesity market.

“Having greatly benefited from the Amylin team's collective experience and scientific expertise, Takeda will continue to enhance its R&D activities in the area of obesity as well as its other core therapeutic areas to meet the needs of patients,” said the company in a statement.

The company has had little luck in this particular area, however, with the FDA rejecting the new drug application for Contrave (naltrexone/bupropion) in 2011 due to the treatment's potential long-term cardiovascular risks – a side-effect notorious with obesity products.

Despite this setback, Takeda and its development partner Orexigen are still working on the drug, setting up a cardiovascular outcomes trial to determine the drug's long-term risk.

3rd January 2013

From: Research



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