Buck Institute and Biotica to Investigate Polyketides in Extension of Healthy Lifespan

September 12, 2011  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.

About the Buck Institute for Research on Aging
The Buck Institute is the first freestanding institute in the United States that is devoted solely to basic research on aging and age-associated disease. The Institute is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to extending the healthspan, the healthy years of each individual’s life. Buck Institute scientists work in an innovative, interdisciplinary setting to understand the mechanisms of aging and to discover new ways of detecting, preventing and treating conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke.  Collaborative research at the Institute is supported by new developments in genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics technology.

About Biotica Technology Limited
Biotica is a privately-held biotechnology company that discovers and develops polyketide therapeutics. It has a growing pipeline of novel therapeutic programs supported by clinical validation. These include nPT-mTOR (unique rapamycin analogs), nPT-CyP (cyclophilin inhibitors for HCV) and nPT-ery (anti-inflammatory erythromycin analogs partnered with GlaxoSmithKline). All of Biotica’s projects employ its proprietary novoPT™ technology, which enables it to select from the many known polyketides with biological activity and make a range of derivatives that are either difficult or impossible to make by medicinal chemistry methods. For additional information visit www.biotica.com.

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