Pfizer axes $195M Biotica pact, hands back rights to MS, lupus drugs

With plans to cut deep into its R&D budget, Pfizer is pulling out of one of its research pacts and handing back the rights to a package of new treatments it picked up in the big Wyeth buyout. And the U.K.'s Biotica Technology, which originally inked its $195 million deal in 2006, confidently says it's getting back rights to the rapamycin analogue program for MS, lupus and other diseases after the pharma giant had made it look more promising than ever.

"Pfizer enjoyed a productive collaboration with Biotica," said Dr. Mary Collins, Pfizer's CSO for immunology and autoimmunity research. "The decision to return this program to Biotica was made as part of Pfizer's portfolio review process. We wish Biotica success as it moves its analogue program forward."

According to Biotica, it picked up new IP on polyketide engineering from Bristol-Myers Squibb back in 2009. And over the past 5 years, the Wyeth-Pfizer group has been studying various candidates for neuro-inflammatory conditions under their development deal.

"Our compounds are supported by a strong data package generated by Pfizer, and show evidence of meaningful differentiation in diseases with significant unmet need," noted Biotica CEO Dr. Edward Hodgkin.

- here's the Biotica release