Scottish biotechnology company Aquapharm Biodiscovery has signed a new commercial licence agreement with India’s Dr Reddy’s and extended an existing R&D pact which covers selected strains from the Oban-based firm’s library of novel marine micro-organisms.

The companies noted that these strains will be used to generate commercial biocatalysts for specific applications in the manufacture of pharmaceutical intermediates at Dr Reddy’s R&D site at Cambridge, UK. Under the terms of these agreements, Aquapharm, which has been developing potential antibiotics from marine microbes since 2000, will receive undisclosed milestone payments as well as royalties on commercialisation of the product by Dr Reddy’s.

Andrew Mearns Spragg, Aquapharm chief executive, said it is “highly satisfying” that the original collaboration with Dr Reddy’s, which started in 2006 “has had its first successes and will generate near-term revenues”. Marcel Velterop, vice president of Dr Reddy’s Custom Pharmaceutical Services (Europe) added that the Aquapharm library “is proving a valuable resource…in developing economically attractive and sustainable biocatalytic processes”.

He concluded by saying that “working together with Aquapharm, we are confident of further successes in exploiting this unique and diverse collection of micro-organisms”.