Sweden’s Karo Bio says that partner Wyeth will take on all future R&D activities under the firms’ drug discovery collaboration which began in 2001.

The Huddinge, Stockholm-based group noted that the primary objective of the alliance has been to identify and select candidates for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. These efforts have focused on the liver X receptor, which Karo Bio says has “many features that make it an attractive drug development target for prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and dyslipidaemia”.

Per Olof Wallstroem, Karo Bio’s chief executive, said the company is “pleased that this exciting LXR program continues within Wyeth”. It means that his firm “will not put any more internal resources into the project” and while that means research funding from its US partner will dry up, the licence agreement between the companies “shall remain in effect”.

The news comes a month after Karo Bio said that its drug discovery programme with India’s Zydus Cadila is making good progress and a year in has already “generated a series of novel dissociated non-steroidal glucocorticoid agonist lead compounds”. They are as potent as conventional steroids “but with a significantly reduced potential to cause side effects”, Karo Bio added, noting the leads are currently undergoing “various preclinical evaluations”.