BTG plc: Close Period Update
London, UK, 28 September 2007: BTG plc (LSE: BGC), the life sciences company, today announces the following update ahead of the planned interim results announcement for the six months to 30 September 2007 which will be released on 7 November 2007.
BTG’s financial position continued to strengthen during the first half of the year. Underlying recurring royalty revenues remain strong although, as anticipated, BTG’s reported royalty revenue is expected to be in line with last year because of the continuing weakness of the US dollar against sterling. In addition to these royalties, other transactions completed in the period are expected to contribute around £15m of net profits and gains before withholding taxes. These include the previously announced semiconductor chip patent licences and the licensing of AQ4N by KuDOS to Novacea, Inc, and the completion of additional elements of the RFID patent sale and other fully paid-up royalty transactions. These sources of income, together with continued cost control, have generated positive cash flow in the first half of this financial year which has added to the £43m cash reserves reported at the start of the period.
Research and development costs are expected to be up to £15m for the full year but will be significantly weighted to the second half, with the planned acceleration of recruitment in the Varisolve® safety study, commencement of phase I clinical studies of BGC20-1531 (migraine) and BGC20-0134 (multiple sclerosis), and the progression towards the start of a phase I study of BGC945 (solid tumours) and a phase IIa study of BCG20-1259 (Alzheimer’s disease).
Looking forward, the recent approval of Campath® as a first-line treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia is likely to have a small positive impact on BTG’s royalty revenues in the second half of the current financial year and provides the potential for significantly increased royalties in future years.
BTG is continuing to seek development partners for a number of its pharmaceutical programmes and to look to licence or sell its remaining non-core physical science assets. These have the potential to generate both one-off revenues and future milestones and royalty streams.
Good progress has been made with products under development. Varisolve®, the varicose veins treatment, continued to progress through the US phase II safety study as planned. A scheduled meeting of the Drug and Safety Monitoring Board was held in early September in order to review initial results. Recruitment is proceeding well and it is expected that the study will complete on schedule during the first half of 2008.
A phase II trial commenced of BGC20-0582, a novel head lice treatment following the successful outcome of ex vivo studies. Recruitment is anticipated to finish by the end of 2007, with the trial results being available around the end of the financial year.
The proof of concept trial on BGC20-0166, a pharmacological treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea based on combining two known serotonin modulators, is fully recruited and the results are expected to be fully analysed by the end of 2007.
BGC20-0134 and BGC20-1531 progressed towards completion of their preclinical development and are anticipated to enter phase I clinical studies in multiple sclerosis and migraine respectively during the second half of the financial year. BGC945, targeting solid tumours, also continued preclinical development including long-term safety testing ahead of a planned phase I study, anticipated to commence in the first half of 2008.
BGC20-1259, a multifunctional compound targeting Alzheimer’s disease (AD), continued to progress towards a planned phase IIa study in AD patients in 2008 while completing certain safety studies.
Among licensed programmes, in addition to its approval as a first-line treatment for B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, Campath® also commenced a pivotal phase III in multiple sclerosis.
Louise Makin, BTG’s Chief Executive, commented:
“We have made good progress during the first half and the significant one-off transactions have further strengthened our cash position. With a strong financial platform of growing recurring royalties, we can step up investment in our development programmes as planned with the confidence that we can continue to build a valuable pipeline and life sciences business.”
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
+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