Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Takeda have announced the selection of a combination hormone treatment to enter Phase III development as a new drug to help tackle the problem of obesity.

The companies have selected pramlintide, an analogue of the natural hormone amylin, and metreleptin, an analogue of the natural hormone leptin, for advancement toward Phase III development.

The decision to advance the programme follows encouraging results from a 52-week blinded, placebo-controlled Phase II extension study in which the pramlintide/metreleptin combination met the key target criteria of sustained and robust weight loss.

Amylin Pharmaceuticals vice-president of medical development Christian Weyer said that there is an enormous unmet need to help reduce the individual and economic burden of obesity.

“We are committed to developing innovative therapies to help the millions of people who need better solutions to manage obesity,” Weyer said.