San Diego’s Amylin Pharmaceuticals announced a deal this week with Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals to develop and market experimental obesity drugs, making it the third San Diego-based biotech to make big news this year with potential weight loss therapies.

The deal calls for Amylin to get $75 million upfront, plus milestone payments based on whether the drugs make it through clinical trials and achieve certain revenues, according to Xconomy. It also gives the company a boost in its effort to keep up with San Diego-based Arena Pharmaceuticals and Orexigen Therapeutics, both of which are in late-stage clinical trials with their obesity drugs.

Here is what Xconomy had to say about the deal:

Amylin is betting it has found a way to breathe new life into one of the most overhyped biotech drugs of the 1990s — Amgen’s leptin — by packaging it in combination with its own pramlintide drug for diabetes. While the Amylin drug needs to be taken by injection and its rivals are oral pills, it has shown some strong promise that it can help people shed pounds in clinical trials, and the market has big potential. About two-thirds of people in the U.S. are considered overweight or obese, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This is an important year for both Amylin and Arena. Arena has had a bumpy ride with its obesity drug lorcaserin.


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