BTG plc Commences First Clinical Study of Novel Migraine Treatment

BTG plc Commences First Clinical Study of Novel Migraine Treatment

BTG plc Commences First Clinical Study of Novel Migraine Treatment

London, UK, 30 January 2008: BTG plc (LSE: BGC), the life sciences company, today announces that BGC20-1531, a potential treatment for migraine headaches, has commenced clinical development.

Dosing has begun in a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled phase I study, which will assess the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic profile of single rising doses of oral BGC20-1531 in healthy volunteers. The trial also incorporates a number of pharmacodynamic endpoints which may help to predict the efficacious dose range for future phase II studies in patients.

BTG licensed BGC20-1531 from Asterand plc (LSE: ATD) (formerly Pharmagene plc) under an exclusive agreement in 2006. On reaching this clinical milestone, BTG has paid Asterand £250,000 as per the terms of the agreement.

Louise Makin, BTG’s chief executive officer, commented: “We are continuing to build our pipeline and are pleased that BGC20-1531 has become our fifth clinical development programme. This is a novel approach to treating migraine, and may be of particular benefit to migraineurs who do not respond to or cannot tolerate the current treatments.”

Migraine headache is estimated to affect 10-20% of the world population and is listed by the World Health Organisation in the top 20 causes of disabling conditions, and in the top four neurological disabling conditions. The most common current therapies for acute migraine are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and triptans. However, many migraine sufferers do not experience sufficient relief from these treatments or cannot tolerate their gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and other side effects.

Prostaglandin PGE2-induced cerebral vascular dilatation is thought to underlie migraine pain, particularly via activation of the EP4 receptor subtype. BGC20-1531 is an EP4 receptor antagonist that has been shown to competitively antagonise PGE2-induced vasodilatation of human middle cerebral and meningeal arteries in vitro, supporting its potential use as a treatment for migraine and other pain conditions. Furthermore, since EP4 receptors are discretely localised, the overall safety profile of EP4 receptor antagonists may be improved compared to triptans and NSAIDs.

For further information contact:

BTG
Andy Burrows, Director of Investor Relations
+44 (0)20 7575 1741
+44 (0)7990 530605 (mobile)

Christine Soden, Chief Financial Officer
+44 (0)20 7575 1591

Financial Dynamics
Ben Atwell
+44 (0)20 7831 3113

About BTG
BTG in-licenses, develops and commercialises pharmaceuticals principally in the areas of neuroscience and oncology. The company has a substantial and growing revenue stream of royalties from out-licensed products and a broad, expanding internal pipeline of development programmes. BTG operates from offices in London, Philadelphia and Osaka. For further information, visit: www.btgplc.com.

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