BioWorld International Correspondent

LONDON - Physiomics plc signed a technology and marketing deal with Bayer Technology Services GmbH, to merge and co-market their respective in silico clinical-response prediction systems, thus bolstering Physiomics' plans for an initial public offering later in the year.

The deal will pull together Physiomics' SystemCell technology for creating in silico representations of what happens inside a cell when drugs are administered - enabling optimum doses to be predicted - with Bayer's PK-Sim pharmacokinetic modeling system.

"Bayer's system answers the question how much of the pill will get to a disease site; ours says how much you need at the disease site," John Savin, Physiomics CEO, told BioWorld International.

"This is a nice fit for both of us, which is why big Bayer is doing a deal with little us."

The collaboration involves crosslicensing the respective technologies and setting up a joint development program to integrate them over the next 18 months. Leverkusen, Germany-based Bayer Technology Services, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, will fund the work.

The partners will jointly market the system, but Savin said Physiomics has rights also to market the merged system independently. The company also is looking for complementary technologies to expand the scope of the software. No other financial terms were disclosed.

By integrating the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic technologies, the merged system will enable users to prioritize drug candidates, maximize clinical trial outcomes and provide an interpretation of why apparently promising drugs fail in clinical trials. It also could be used as a due diligence tool when in-licensing drugs.

"Pharmacodynamics, on its own, has already proved to be a powerful tool, but the combination of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics will be unique," Savin said.

Savin is turning his attention to an IPO on the Alternative Investment Market in London to raise £1 million (US$1.8 million) to pay for further development of the SystemCell technology and to enable Physiomics to establish partnerships in which it will supply services free of charge to companies with drugs in development, in return for royalties on sales.

"We have a small deal of that nature in the offing and would like to do more," Savin said.

Oxford, UK-based Physiomics was spun out of Oxford University in July 2001.

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