Despite the well-documented troubles with British Biotech plc's matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors (MMPIs), Serono S.A. has struck an alliance with the U.K. company to study the technology for applications in anti-inflammatory disease.

The deal covering metalloenzyme inhibitors (MEIs), of which MMPIs are a subset, is based on the development of new technologies by British Biotech to aide in the selection of lead candidates with greater efficacy and reduced side effects than its marimastat cancer compound has been able to show in cancer.