BTG plc: Close Period Update
London, UK, 2 April 2007 BTG plc (LSE: BGC), the medical innovations company, today announces the following update for the year ended 31 March 2007 ahead of the planned publication of its Preliminary Results on 24th May 2007.
As anticipated in its interim results announcement, the Company expects to report for the year an increase in recurring royalty revenues, further reductions in operating and administrative costs and good progress in commercialising non-core assets and building value in the development pipeline.
Net recurring royalty revenues are anticipated to be around 5% higher than the £23m achieved last year at approximately £24m. The £2.6m of net one-off revenues and gains reported in the first half of the year will be supplemented by some additional small deals and the revenues received from licensing certain patent rights to Fresenius in December 2006.
Investment in research and development is anticipated to be £10m to £12m, in line with expectations. Administrative and operating expenses for the year are expected to be significantly below the target of £22m set in last year's annual report. Cash at 30 September 2006 was £43m and the outflow during the second half is forecast to be low single digit millions of pounds.
BTG's internal pipeline has been strengthened in the year through development progress and in-licensing. Two drug programmes were acquired during the year: a novel opioid agonist for the control of post-operative pain, and a targeted oncology drug with potential in a number of solid tumour types. Both programmes are progressing through preclinical development and are expected to enter clinical studies in 2008.
The Varisolve® Phase II safety study is proceeding to plan. Seven centres are expected to participate in the study, which will end when 50 patients with severe varicose veins and circulating arterial bubbles (owing to a connection in the heart that can allow bubbles to pass from the venous to the arterial system) have been treated and monitored using MRI scanning. The first centre is now recruiting patients and initial training patients were treated in March 2007 as planned.
The Phase I/II results of a trial of plevitrexed in gastric cancer were presented in January 2007, demonstrating promising single-agent activity for advanced gastric cancer patients who cannot tolerate multi-drug combinations. BTG is now seeking to partner plevitrexed.
The Phase I study of BGC20-1259, targeting Alzheimer's disease and age-related disorders, was completed in which 63 young and elderly volunteers received single or multiple ascending drug doses. BGC20-1259 was well tolerated and demonstrated the expected pharmacological profile.
Recruitment of subjects continued for a proof of concept study of BGC20-0166, a combination of two serotoninergic compounds, as a pharmacological treatment for sleep apnoea. Enrolment is due to finish in mid-2007.
Preclinical development continued for BGC945, a novel thymidylate synthase inhibitor that is taken up into cancer cells preferentially via the α-folate receptor, BGC20-1531, targeting migraine headache, and BGC20-0134, a structured lipid compound for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. These are all scheduled to be ready to enter clinical studies during 2007.
Within our out-licensed programmes, Genzyme Corp. has continued with the development of Campath® in oncology and multiple sclerosis. Cougar Biotechnology, Inc. reported positive Phase I and Phase II data on CB7360 (abiraterone acetate) confirming the drug is clinically active in patients receiving hormone therapy as a second-line treatment and showing for the first time that it is also active in patients who have failed ketoconazole and in patients who have failed docetaxel based chemotherapy. Tolerx, Inc. is now financed to further develop the anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody TRX4 as a treatment for type-1 diabetes and psoriasis.
Louise Makin, BTG's chief executive officer, commented: "We have achieved good progress within our own development programmes and are pleased to see licensed programmes advancing and further market penetration from the products underlying our royalty income. We end the year in a strong financial position, confident that we can continue to strengthen our pipeline and create value for shareholders in the coming year."
For further information contact:
Andy Burrows, Director of Investor Relations
+44 (0)20 7575 1741; mobile: +44 (0)7990 530605
Christine Soden, Chief Financial Officer
+44 (0)20 7575 1591
Ben Atwell/ Anna Keeble
+44 (0)20 7831 3113
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 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