BTG Reports Positive Results from First Study Investigating BGC20-0166 in Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Patients

BTG Reports Positive Results from First Study Investigating BGC20-0166 in Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Patients

BTG Reports Positive Results from First Study Investigating BGC20-0166 in Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Patients

London, UK and West Conshohocken, PA, 10 April 2008: BTG (LSE: BGC), the life sciences company, today reports additional details from its positive clinical proof of concept study of BGC20-0166 in subjects with mild to severe obstructive sleep apnoea.BGC20-0166 is a novel combination of two marketed serotonin modulating drugs being developed for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSA). OSA is a sleep-related breathing disorder that affects more than 12 million adults in the US, according to the National Institutes of Health, making OSA as common as adult diabetes. BGC20-0166 has the potential to significantly advance the management of OSA as there are currently no approved drug therapies to treat this disorder.

In this initial proof of concept study, 39 subjects diagnosed with OSA received placebo, a single agent or one of two doses of BGC20-0166 daily for a period of 28 days. Each subject’s apnoea-hypopnoea index (AHI) was measured in overnight sleep laboratory polysomnograph studies on days 14 and 28. The primary endpoint was a reduction in the AHI at day 28. The treatment group receiving the high-dose combination demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in AHI compared to subjects receiving placebo at both day 14 and 28. AHI was reduced by a mean of 40% in this treatment group, with individual responses ranging between 10% and 85%.

Three of ten subjects in the high-dose group were considered complete responders, with a reduction in AHI of 50% or more and an AHI below 10 at day 28. In addition to the observed overall reduction of AHI, subjects in the high-dose treatment group showed reduced AHI in both REM and non-REM sleep stages and independent of sleep position. Subjects in the high-dose treatment group also showed a trend towards improved oxygen saturation levels relative to placebo, a measure which is directly correlated with improved sleep-related breathing. These improvements in clinically accepted measures of obstructive sleep apnoea severity were not associated with a change in sleep architecture that has been reported for other candidate pharmacotherapies previously investigated for the treatment of sleep apnoea.

The results from this trial demonstrate the potential of this pharmacotherapy to decrease sleep apnoea in some patients and to normalise it in others. Future research is needed to more precisely define the role of BGC20-0166 in the clinicians armamentarium of apnoea therapy,” said sleep expert, Dr Thomas Roth, current Director of the Sleep Disorders and Research Center at Henry Ford Hospital and former president of the National Sleep Foundation, who is serving as an advisor to the BTG programme.

The BGC20-0166 drug combination is based on our understanding of the serotonin neuropharmacology associated with sleep-related breathing,” said Dr Russell Hagan, Head of R&D at BTG. “We are encouraged by the positive findings from this trial, and we believe that BGC20-0166 could be an effective therapy for a significant proportion of sleep apnoea patients.”

BGC20-0166 was shown to be well-tolerated with no significant difference in reported side-effects between active and placebo treatment groups. BTG is continuing with both non-clinical studies and the development of a proprietary product formulation with its partner Collegium Pharmaceutical in preparation for US IND submission.

About Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)

OSA is defined as the cessation of breathing during sleep for a period of 10 seconds or more with a frequency of 5 or more events per hour of sleep. Sleep apnoea is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease including hypertension, heart failure and stroke and with increased risk of auto vehicle fatalities. OSA symptoms include daytime somnolence and decreased function, and are frequently first recognised by a sleep partner, as patients routinely do not realise disrupted breathing. Formal diagnosis of OSA usually requires an overnight sleep lab polysomnograph study. The current standard of care for OSA patients is treatment of the disease using a variation of a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP), which has been shown to be effective in reducing the apnoea-hypopnoea index in OSA patients. However, the overall clinical benefit of CPAP is limited by relatively poor patient compliance rates reported for OSA patients. Despite low rates of patient compliance, the global CPAP device market exceeded $1B in 2007. Other less frequently prescribed treatment options for OSA patients include surgery, dental appliances and sleep position training. Currently there are no FDA-approved drugs for the safe and effective treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.

For further information contact:

BTG
Andy Burrows, Director of Investor Relations
+44 (0)207 575 1741

Nicole Yost, Head of Marketing
+44 (0)207 575 1619

Dr Thomas Logan, Vice President, Business & Product Development
+1 610 943 3518

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.

Back to press releases