Pfizer has returned the rights to a rapamycin analogue program it has been running to explore the potential of diseases such as multiple sclerosis and lupus to the UK's Biotica Technology, according to PharmaTimes.
The privately-owned group has regained full rights to the program which began after a deal was signed in 2006 with Wyeth (acquired by the US giant in October 2009). Since then, Pfizer has investigated these compounds in several diseases, "and in particular has extensively profiled candidate drugs in MS and systemic lupus erythematosus.”
Biotica says it intends to continue development in these indications but Pfizer is cutting back on its research activities and the project has been terminated. Mary Collins, chief scientific officer at the latter's immunology and autoimmunity research unit, said Pfizer had "enjoyed a productive collaboration with Biotica,” and the decision to return this program was made as part of its portfolio review process.
Edward Hodgkin, Biotica's chief executive, said, "Our compounds are supported by a strong data package generated by Pfizer, and show evidence of meaningful differentiation in diseases with significant unmet need."