BTG Licensee TolerRx
Inc. Raises $35.6m to Develop TRX4; Phase III Pivotal Trial in Type 1 Diabetes Planned to Commence in 2006,
London, UK, 17 August 2006: BTG plc (LSE: BGC), the medical innovations company, today announces that TolerRx, Inc. has raised $35.6 million to advance the development of TRX4 as a treatment for type 1 diabetes and plans to commence a Phase III pivotal trial in 2006. TolerRx, BTG's exclusive licensee for the anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody TRX4, is also developing TRX4 as a treatment for psoriasis.
BTG's pipeline currently comprises 15 assets in clinical development, of which 10 are being developed by licensees.
An extract from TolerRx's announcement follows:
TolerRx, Inc. Raises $35.6 Million to Advance TRX4 in Type 1 Diabetes - Adds Seven New Investors including FrontPoint Partners and Funding from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., August 16, 2006-TolerRx, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapies to treat patients with diseases of the immune system, announced that it has completed a $35.6 million financing, which included funding from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the world's largest charitable sponsor of research in Type 1 diabetes. The funds will support the clinical development of TolerRx's lead product, TRX4, an anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody in development for Type 1 diabetes and psoriasis. TolerRx is currently conducting clinical trials of TRX4 in subjects with Type 1 diabetes and plans to initiate a Phase III pivotal trial in 2006.
FrontPoint Partners, LLC, a new investor to the company, led the round which included six other new investors: Mesirow Financial, Swiss Re, QVT Fund LP, IBT Management Corporation (IBTM), Brookstone Capital, in addition to the JDRF funding. Existing investors participating included: Skyline Ventures, Bear Stearns, Sprout Group, Rho Ventures, Artal Services N.V., and HealthCare Ventures.
"Phase II study results demonstrate that TRX4 (ChAglyCD3) is able to preserve beta cell function for up to a year and a half after a short course of therapy, " said Chip Skowron, M.D., Ph.D., of FrontPoint Partners. "In addition to reducing insulin need, the preservation of beta cell function will likely result in a significant reduction of the long term complications associated with Type 1 diabetes. In following, TRX4 therapy could provide patients with substantial clinical benefit."
"We are extremely pleased with the enthusiastic reception we received from investors. The partnership with JDRF and the investment by our new and existing investors validates the progress we have made with the TRX4 program and our commitment to bring this novel therapy to patients with Type 1 diabetes," said Dr. Douglas J. Ringler, President and Chief Executive Officer of TolerRx. "These funds, combined with JDRF's support and expertise, will allow us to further execute our plan to move TRX4 into a Phase III pivotal trial in new-onset Type 1 diabetes this year."
"Anti-CD3 therapy has shown great promise for the treatment of Type 1 diabetes. JDRF has financially supported prior clinical studies with TRX4, so our partnership with TolerRx for the clinical development of TRX4 is a natural progression of our commitment to bring new therapies to patients with Type 1 diabetes," said JDRF Executive Vice President for Research, Richard Insel, M.D.
TRX4 is a monoclonal antibody that binds to a receptor component found on all T cells called CD3, which is involved in normal T cell signaling. TRX4 is designed to block the function of autoreactive T-effector cells that attack the body's tissues and cause autoimmune disease. Because T-effector cells and T-regulatory cells have different signaling requirements for activation, TRX4 is expected to suppress autoreactive T cells while promoting T-regulatory cell activity, resulting in a state of immunological tolerance. In addition to Type 1 diabetes, TolerRx is also developing TRX4 for the treatment of psoriasis.
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BTG in-licenses, develops and commercialises pharmaceuticals and other medical technologies. With a substantial and growing revenue stream of royalties and milestone payments from out-licensed products, BTG continues to strengthen its pipeline of preclinical and clinical development programmes. Active in oncology, diseases of ageing, neuroscience, drug repositioning and medical devices, BTG works from its offices in London, Philadelphia and Osaka with a global partner network of healthcare companies and research organisations. For further information, visit:www.btgplc.com.Back to press releases