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GEN News Highlights : Sep 14, 2011

Biotica and Buck Institute Ally to Investigate Rapamycin Analogs Against Age-Related Diseases

Deal builds on existing partnership focused on nonrapamycin polyketides.

Biotica Technology is partnering with the Buck Institute for Research on Aging to investigate the potential use of rapamycin analogs and other polyketides as treatments for a range of age-related diseases. The collaboration builds on an existing relationship between Biotica and the institute’s president and CEO Brian Kennedy, Ph.D., focused on studying the longevity-enhancing properties of nonrapamycin polyketides. In 2009 Dr. Kennedy’s team published research suggesting that rapamycin extends healthy lifespan in different animal species.

Biotica is leveraging its novoPT™ platform to identify polyketide therapeutics against a range of diseases. The platform combines a library of naturally occurring human biology-rich polyketides with technologies for lead identification and optimization of candidates as well as manufacturing development. The firm’s library includes focused collections of polyketide PPIase inhibitors, Hsp90 inhibitors, and Calcineurin inhibitors.

The firm’s in-house pipeline includes sanglifehrin-based cyclophilin inhibitors for the treatment of viral infections and polyketide calcineurin inhibitors for local administration in inflammatory indications. An ongoing partnership with GlaxoSmithKline is centered on developing anti-inflammatory erythromycin analogues.

In August Biotica reaquired from Pfizer full rights to a rapamycin analog program focused on the identification of mTOR inhibitors, which had originally been licensed to Wyeth. The program includes clinical-stage candidates for the treatment of neuroinflammatory and other diseases. Biotica says Pfizer had extensively profiled candidate drugs for potential application in multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus, indications which it intends to progress further.