BTG plc: 2006 AGM Statement
London, UK, 26 July 2006: BTG plc (LSE: BGC), the medical innovations company, will today hold its 2006 Annual General Meeting at 10.30am at its London office. The following is a summary of comments to be made by Sir Brian Fender, Chairman, and Dr Louise Makin, Chief Executive Officer.
Over the past 18 months, BTG has transformed itself into a sustainable, growing and focused life sciences business. Reduced costs, increasing royalty revenues and the successful commercialisation of non-core physical science assets enabled the Company to start the new financial year in a strong position.
Progress in the first quarter in expanding and developing the pipeline has been good. The Company has continued to see a strong flow of drug programmes for potential acquisition into its development pipeline, and is currently reviewing more than a dozen opportunities. BTG's development pipeline currently comprises 15 drugs in clinical development, of which 10 are being developed by licensees.
As announced in June, BTG is preparing to commence a key Phase II safety study in the US for Varisolve®, the novel treatment for varicose veins, to maintain its development and regulatory momentum. The Board is confident that positive data from the study would significantly increase the value of Varisolve® to BTG and its shareholders. BTG will continue to pursue partnering options while conducting the study, in which the first patient is expected to be treated early in 2007.
The Phase I/II trial of plevitrexed in patients with advanced and/or metastatic gastric cancer is now fully enrolled with all patients undergoing treatment. Results of this trial are expected at the end of 2006.
BTG is announcing today that a single-ascending dose Phase I study assessing the safety and tolerability of BGC20-1259, targeting Alzheimer's disease, has been successfully completed in 24 volunteers. A multiple-ascending dose study in 36 volunteers is planned to commence following regulatory approval, with full Phase I results anticipated by the end of 2006.
Recruitment and treatment continued for a clinical proof of mechanism study of BGC20-0166, a combination of two agents targeting sleep apnoea, with results anticipated in the first half of 2007.
BTG's licensees have also made good progress. At the Annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in June 2006, Genzyme Corp. reported encouraging results from an interim analysis of a phase III trial comparing Campath® with chlorambucil, a commonly prescribed alkylating agent, in previously untreated patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Full results of this trial are due by the end of the year, when Genzyme expects to submit US and European applications to expand the product's current label to include first-line treatment. Genzyme also anticipates commencing a Phase III study of Campath® in relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis before the end of the year.
BTG plans to hold a full update on its development pipeline following the presentation of its Interim Results on 9 November 2006.
BTG continues to seek partners for several life sciences programmes, and has good prospects of securing licensing agreements over the coming 12-18 months. A range of physical science assets is also being commercialised, with the goal of gaining full value from these over the next one to two years.
Louise Makin, BTG's Chief Executive Officer, commented: "BTG is a sustainable business with increasing revenues, strong cash reserves, tight cost management and a growing pipeline of pharmaceutical assets. We are confident of creating shareholder value by investing in our existing and new drug programmes to increase the value of our pipeline."
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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 the fields of oncology, diseases of ageing, neuroscience, drug repositioning and medical devices, BTG works from offices in London, Philadelphia and Osaka through a global partner network of healthcare companies and research organisations. For further information, visit: www.btgplc.com.Back to press releases