Biotica Technology Limited, a privately-held biotechnology company, announces a significant collaboration and license agreement with GlaxoSmithKline to discover develop and commercialise novel erythromycin-based macrolides in inflammatory diseases.

In three year research collaboration, Biotica will use its bioengineering technology to produce compounds that are not readily accessible via conventional medicinal chemistry approaches. GSK will apply its expertise in macrolide drug discovery to optimize further the properties of candidate drugs, and will have responsibility for development and commercialisation.

Under the terms of the agreement, Biotica receives an initial cash payment, and is eligible to receive up to £86 million per compound in success-based development, approval and commercialization milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties on net sales of resulting products. In addition, GSK has made an up front equity investment in a first close of Biotica's Series D financing. The Series D round remains open for additional investors and will support progression of the company's high-value, unpartnered programme.

"The deal with GSK significantly boosts our cash position and enables us to further strengthen our position as the leading natural product optimization company. We look forward to working with GSK to exploit the significant potential of macrolides in inflammatory diseases", said Dr. Edward Hodgkin, CEO of Biotica.

"Biotica's technology and expertise enables discovery of new medicines which could not be made by conventional means" said Dr. Ming Zhang, Biotica's senior vice president of R&D. "We had demonstrated our capacity for optimizing macrolides in a successful pilot study conducted prior to completion of the agreement" he added.

Biotica is a privately-held biotechnology company with a growing pipeline of novel therapeutic programmes supported by clinical validation. Biotica's programmes include rapamycin-based mTOR inhibitors (partnered with Wyeth), novel FK506 analogues for inhaled use in asthma, cyclophilin inhibitors and erythromycin macrolides (in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline).