A UK biopharmaceutical firm has started a clinical trial involving a novel form of obesity treatment.
TKS1225 is being touted as a "major new treatment option" for people who are morbidly obese and, with the levels of obesity increasing in the UK, could be a particularly useful form of drug therapy in the future.
The drug mimics a naturally-occurring gut hormone that helps to regulate hunger and satiety.
Data obtained by the firm, Thiakis Ltd, suggest that it can improve glucose tolerance and increase insulin sensitivity, both of which tend to be impaired in obese people.
Dr John Burt, chief executive officer of Thiakis, said: "I am delighted to be announcing the initiation of clinical development for TKS1225.
"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."
A major report recently warned that 60 per cent of men and 50 per cent of women could be clinically obese by 2050 unless action is taken to step the so-called epidemic.