BTG plc: Acquisition of Protez Pharmaceuticals by Novartis

BTG plc: Acquisition of Protez Pharmaceuticals by Novartis

BTG plc: Acquisition of Protez Pharmaceuticals by Novartis

BTG to receive approximately $5 million in respect of its shareholding in Protez upon close of transaction with further potential payments

London, UK, 4 June 2008: BTG plc (LSE: BGC), the life sciences company, is pleased to note today's announcement by Novartis that it is to acquire Protez Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on the discovery and development of novel antibiotics that was founded in 2003 by BTG alongside Protez management members Chris Cashman, Dr Klauss Esser and Dr Luigi Xerri.

Novartis is acquiring the entire share capital of Protez for an initial payment of $100 million, with potential for up to $300 million of additional payments contingent upon the success of PZ-601, a broad-spectrum antibiotic currently in Phase II development for potentially fatal drug-resistant infections such as MRSA.

Upon the transaction closing, BTG will receive approximately $5 million, being its share of the initial $100 million, and will receive further sums of up to $15m being 5% of the additional contingent consideration of $300 million payable should PZ-601 achieve certain development and commercialisation targets. The closing is subject to customary conditions for a transaction of this type.

Louise Makin, BTG's chief executive officer, commented: 'We are delighted with the progress made by Protez and are confident that as part of Novartis its programmes will play a major role in the field of infectious diseases. It is also pleasing to see this investment deliver such a good return to BTG.'

For further information, contact:

Andy Burrows, Director of Investor Relations
+44 (0)207 575 1741
+44 (0)7990 530605 (mobile)

Christine Soden, Chief Financial Officer
+44 (0)207 575 1591

Financial Dynamics
Ben Atwell
+44 (0)207 831 3113

About BTG
BTG in-licenses, develops and commercialises pharmaceuticals and has a broad pipeline of development programmes targeting neurological and other disorders, including varicose veins. The company also has a substantial and growing revenue stream of milestone payments and royalties from out-licensed products. BTG operates from offices in London, Philadelphia and Osaka.

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