Amylin forges $1B weight-loss pact with Takeda

There's a new entry in the closely-watched race to win approval for a blockbuster new weight loss drug. Amylin Pharmaceuticals announced this morning that it struck a billion-dollar development deal with Takeda for new obesity therapies that may rival the late-stage programs pushed by Vivus, Arena Pharmaceuticals and Orexigen.

While further back in the clinical field, San Diego-based Amylin has been grabbing attention for its combination of Amgen's leptin and its diabetes drug pramlintide. Preliminary results from a trial involving 608 overweight patients demonstrated that a group of patients lost 11 percent of their body weight after taking the highest dose. The placebo group lost an average of 1.8 percent of its body weight. The most severely obese patients in the trial, though, didn't benefit as much as patients with a BMI of less than 35.

Amylin gets $75 million from Takeda upfront for the deal, along with more than a billion dollars in commercial and clinical milestone payments as well as double-digit royalties, "Both Amylin and Takeda have extensive experience in the diabetes and metabolic disease area, and this collaboration should allow us to more quickly bring promising new treatments to patients in need," said Yasuchika Hasegawa, the CEO of Takeda Pharmaceutical.

- check out Amylin's release
- here's the report from Xconomy