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.
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.