Pfizer is ending its research pacts with UK’s Biotica Technology and handing back the rights to a package of new treatments it gained in the Wyeth buyout.

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.

Biotica made its original agreement to develop the programme with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in early October 2006. Wyeth was then later acquired by Pfizer in October 2009. The deal included the worldwide rights to Biotica’s most advance drug candidates at the time.

Biotica says it intends to continue development in these indications but Pfizer is cutting back on its research activities and the project has been terminated. Mary Collins, chief scientific officer at Pfizer’s immunology and autoimmunity research unit, said Pfizer had “enjoyed a productive collaboration with Biotica,” and the decision to return this programme was made as part of its portfolio review process.

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.