Wyeth Pharmaceuticals has acquired Thiakis Ltd, a privately held British biotechnology company in a $150 million deal.
According to Mikael Dolsten, president Wyeth Research, the acquisition marks another step in Wyeth's development thrust toward innovative high-value medicines focused on critical therapeutic areas related to metabolic disorders.
Analysts say that Wyeth's interest in Thiakis lies in the experimental obesity drug TKS1225 which it is developing.
The drug is reportedly in early-stage human studies. Thiakis which was founded in 2004, has focused on development of drugs for obesity and metabolic disease.
Obesity treatment, remains a promising field for drug companies despite the failure of some products from high profile players like Sanofi and Pfizer.
The takeover of Thiakis, which claims a novel approach to developing obesity drugs, has therefore not come as a surprise according to industry watchers.
Wyeth is initially paying $30 million for Thiakis and the rest $120 million would be would be payable on the achievement of certain develoment milestones, as per the terms of the deal.
According to Wyeth the drug, TKS1225, is a synthetic version of a natural peptide, a protein fragment, found in the gastrointestinal system and called oxyntomodulin.
Wyeth, is a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company. Its facility in Sanford tmanufactures some of the company's most successful drugs, including the the bacterial vaccine Prevnar.
Thiakis, since its inception has focused on development work based on research done by Steve Bloom and colleagues at Imperial College London.
The firm's chief executive, John Burt, said that with Wyeth they have the right partners to follow through with their commitment and vision focused on commercialising novel therapies for obesity.