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Wyeth Pharmaceuticals acquires Thiakis in a transaction worth up to £100m

By Press Release, Thiakis
Press Release.


London, December 18, 2008. Advent Venture Partners (‘Advent Ventures’) today announces the sale of one of its portfolio companies, Thiakis, to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE: WYE) for a total consideration of £100 million which includes upfront and clinical development milestone payments. Thiakis’s lead product candidate, TKS1225, is an analogue of the peptide hormone oxyntomodulin being studied for the treatment of obesity and the prevention and amelioration of associated conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Thiakis was founded in 2004 by Professor Stephen Bloom who is a world leading expert in the study of metabolic diseases at Imperial College, London, and by Dr John Burt who served as Chief Executive Officer, with support from Imperial Innovations (AIM: IVO).

Advent Venture Partners co-led the Series ‘A’ financing round for the company in 2006 along with Novo A\S and Imperial Innovations and co-investment from Royal Society, Esperante and others. Advent Ventures’ General Partner, Dr Raj Parekh, served on the Board.

Thiakis and its investors were advised by Credit Suisse, Morrison & Foerster and Rawlinson & Hunter.

About Advent Ventures:

Advent Ventures is one of the most experienced venture capital firms in the UK. Established in 1981 it invests in both the Life Sciences and the Technology sectors. It has over £500 million (US$ 765 million) under management from institutional investors across Europe and the USA. It has backed around 60 life science companies of which, to date, 22 have obtained public listings and a further 10 companies have been sold including PowderMed (to Pfizer) and KuDOS Pharmaceuticals (to AstraZeneca). Recent public listings include Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics on Euronext Amsterdam. Recent investments by the Advent Ventures Life Sciences team include the Swiss therapeutic antibody company, 4-Antibody; UK medical device company, Starbridge Systems; and EUSA Pharma, a transatlantic specialty pharmaceutical company.


For further information please contact:

Francesca Reville
Penrose Financial
Tel 020 7786 4884

Dr Raj Parekh
Advent Venture Partners
Tel 020 7932 2100

Novel therapy for treatment of obesity enters clinical trials

By Press Release, Thiakis
Press Release.


London, UK, 12 March 2008 – Thiakis Limited, the biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of peptide hormones for the treatment of obesity, announced today that it has successfully commenced dosing in a clinical trial of TKS1225, the Company’s novel oxyntomodulin analogue, for the treatment of obesity. The trial will initially focus on safety and tolerability before investigating the effects of TKS1225 on appetite and food intake.

TKS1225 is a potent, long acting analogue of oxyntomodulin, a naturally occurring peptide hormone involved in regulating food intake. Preclinical models have demonstrated TKS1225 to be highly efficacious, ameliorating glucose intolerance as well as causing a significant reduction in body weight.

Oxyntomodulin is a peptide hormone released by the gut following food ingestion, acting as a natural satiety signal to reduce food intake and increase energy expenditure. Clinical studies in human volunteers at Imperial College London demonstrated the effectiveness of oxyntomodulin in causing significant weight loss, reducing appetite and food intake.

“I am delighted to be announcing the initiation of clinical development for TKS1225,” Dr John Burt, Chief Executive Officer of Thiakis commented. “This programme has demonstrated the rapid progress from initial discovery to the start of human dosing that can be achieved by a focused biotech company. TKS1225 has the potential to provide a major new treatment option for obesity.”

Data from Thiakis’ development programme indicate that TKS1225 has the potential to improve glucose tolerance and increase insulin sensitivity, which are often impaired in obese people and underlie Type 2 diabetes, a common consequence of excess weight.

Thiakis Limited
Dr John Burt, Chief Executive Officer
telephone: +44 (0)20 7470 5621

Thiakis is focused on the development of novel therapies for the treatment of obesity and other metabolic diseases. The Company’s core technology, derived from the research of Professor Steve Bloom at Imperial College London, is based on the peptide hormones oxyntomodulin and PYY(3-36), which are released by the intestines in response to food ingestion, and serve to regulate appetite as part of the body’s own natural energy balancing mechanisms. The Company’s lead development compound is a more potent and long lasting oxyntomodulin analogue, TKS1225, currently in clinical development. Thiakis’ intellectual property has been licensed from Imperial Innovations (AIM: IVO). In August 2006, Thiakis raised £10 million from a syndicate of venture capital investors, led by established biotech funds Novo A/S and Advent Venture Partners; Imperial Innovations made a significant investment in Thiakis in this financing round and The Royal Society also participated.

Obesity is a chronic, relapsing health risk defined by excess body fat, caused by the interaction of genetic, environmental, and behavioural factors. The incidence of obesity has shown a substantial increase over the past twenty years. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified obesity as an epidemic which is the largest global, chronic health problem in adults. Over 300 million adults are clinically obese, while 1 billion are overweight (WHO, 2003). Greater than 30% of the US adult population are classified as obese (WHO, 2007). 67% of men and 56% of women in the UK are either overweight or obese (Health Survey for England, 2006). Obesity increases the risk of death and major co-morbidities such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis of the knee, sleep apnoea, and some cancers. Estimates of the economic costs of obesity range from 2 to 8% of total healthcare costs of the developed world. As a consequence, the market for therapies to promote weight loss and reduce the co-morbidities of obesity currently represents a substantial unmet medical need.