London-based biopharmaceutical group Thiakis Limited has launched a clinical trial programme evaluating its novel obesity candidate TKS1225, after kicking off dosing of healthy volunteers in a Phase I clinical trial.

TKS1225 is a potent, long-acting analogue of the hormone oxyntomodulin, which acts as a natural satiety signal to cut food intake and increase energy expenditure, and thereby could effectively ‘trick’ patients into feeling full. The study is designed to first assess the safety and tolerability of the agent, and then the drug’s effects on appetite and food intake, the company said.

According to Thiakis, preclinical models have shown the agent to be highly efficacious, helping to improve glucose tolerance, induce substantial weight loss and also increase insulin sensitivity, all of which are important factors in preventing the development of Type 2 diabetes, a common ‘side effect’ of obesity.

The spiralling levels of obesity in the UK and in the western world is certainly one of the greatest healthcare challenges of today and tomorrow, and Thiakis chief executive John Burt is hopeful that “TKS1225 has the potential to provide a major new treatment option” for the condition.