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Firm joins drug giant in venture


A biotechnology firm specialising in novel therapeutic programmes has joined forces with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to develop a type of antibiotic difficult to produce through synthetic methods.

Biotica Technology will spend three years using its bioengineering expertise to produce erythromycin-based macrolides not readily accessible via conventional medicinal chemistry approaches.

GSK will apply its expertise in macrolide drug discovery to develop the properties of candidate drugs and will have responsibility for development and commercialisation.

Under the terms of the agreement, Biotica will receive an initial cash payment, along with up to £86 million per compound in success-based development, approval and commercialisation milestone payments.

It will also profit from tiered royalties on net sales of resulting products.

Dr Ming Zhang, Biotica’s senior vice president of research and development said: “Biotica’s technology and expertise enables discovery of new medicines which could not be made by conventional means.

“We had demonstrated our capacity for optimising macrolides in a successful pilot study conducted prior to completion of the agreement.”

Biotica produces improved derivatives of important drugs that are inaccessible via medicinal chemistry, including the class of natural products known as polyketides. Many pharmaceuticals are polyketides, such as the anti-cholesterol drugs Mevacor, Pravachol and Zocor; the anticancer drugs Torisel and Ixempra; and the immunosuppressants Rapamune and Prograf.

Copyright Press Association 2009

Biotica Technology

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