Takeda, Amylin pull plug on obesity trial

On second thought, Amylin Pharmaceuticals ($AMLN) and Takeda have decided their combination therapy for obesity may not be such a good idea after all. The partners announced yesterday their intention to halt development of the diabetes drug pramlintide and analogue hormone metreleptin treatment, which had made its way to Phase II as a twice-daily injection.

The pair in March had suspended a Phase II trial of the pramlintide/metreleptin combo so they could investigate a new antibody-related metreleptin treatment following a previously completed study of obesity.

The loss-cutting decision came amid a revised development plan as well as "evolving dynamics within the obesity therapeutic area," according to a joint announcement. It was based on a commercial assessment, and indications are the partners will work on a similar treatment with less frequent dosing. The move also follows a series of regulatory setbacks among a trio of developers--Vivus, Orexigen and Arena--which had been racing to field the first new weight drug in more than 10 years.

Amylin and Takeda, however, plan to continue jointly seeking candidates for the treatment of obesity. That collaboration began a year ago when Takeda licensed the obesity drug from Amylin in a $1 billion deal. "Lifestyle diseases are still an unmet medical need," planning ops head Masato Iwasaki said at that time. Takeda had announced then that it would pursue a strategic focus on lifestyle-disease drugs.

- see the Amylin/Takeda announcement
- here's more from AP