Biotica, Buck Institute collaborate to investigate polyketides in diseases of aging

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Partnership builds on life-extending benefits of rapamycin in animal models

The Buck Institute for Research on Aging (Novato, CA) and Biotica Technology Ltd. (Cambridge, UK) today announced a three-year collaboration to investigate polyketides in diseases of aging. Building on observations that rapamycin extends healthy lifespan in various species (Kaeberlein & Kennedy; Nature 2009), the collaborators will evaluate rapamycin analogs and other polyketides in a broad range of age-related disease models to identify novel therapeutics.

"We welcome this collaboration with Biotica with great enthusiasm. Their polyketides represent some of the most novel and promising drug leads for the development of therapeutics for age-related disease," said Buck Institute CEO and President Brian Kennedy, PhD, who added that several Buck laboratories will be involved in the screening process. "We look forward to working with Biotica to move potential therapeutics toward commercialization. We have great respect for the company and their technology - the fact that we will both benefit from commercialization of new discoveries is a harbinger of great things to come."

"Prof. Kennedy and the Buck Institute are recognized as leaders in research on aging, and have played a key role in identifying the life-extending properties of rapamycin," commented Barrie Wilkinson, PhD, Biotica's VP of Research. "We're extremely fortunate to be working with the Buck's outstanding investigators, and to have access to their diverse range of scientific approaches to age-related disease."

The collaboration builds upon an existing relationship between Prof. Kennedy and Biotica, studying longevity-enhancing properties of non-rapamycin polyketides. The recent return of Biotica's rapamycin analog program from Pfizer, in August 2011, has created an opportunity to add value in addition to its current focus on multiple sclerosis (MS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In addition to the work on rapamycin analogs, the collaborators expect to identify new polyketides with therapeutic potential in age-related disease.

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