Senexis Raises £3.7 Million from the Wellcome Trust and BTG to Further Develop its Small Molecule Alzheimer's Compounds
Cambridge, UK, 17th January 2008 – Senexis Limited, a private drug development company in which BTG plc (LSE: BGC) is a shareholder announced today that it has secured £2.9 million of new funding from the Wellcome Trust. The new funds will be used to further optimise Senexis’ small molecule compounds as a potential disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and to progress their preclinical development. These compounds were licensed from BTG in 2006.
The Wellcome Trust award of £2.9 million is being made available from its Seeding Drug Discovery initiative. This new funding augments an investment of £0.8 million from BTG in 2007 and is in addition to the £2.4 million that BTG and the Wellcome Trust had already invested in Senexis since November 2002.
Mark Treherne, Senexis’ Chief Executive, commented: “We are pleased that the Wellcome Trust and BTG have continued to support the Company. We now look forward to being able to accelerate the development of our small molecule compounds towards the clinic.”
"In spite of the attention Alzheimer’s disease receives, we know rather little about how to detect or treat the condition”, reported Ted Bianco, Director of Technology Transfer at the Wellcome Trust. “Senexis are exploring an important avenue that we hope may lead to a disease-modifying therapy. It is precisely this sort of pioneering R&D that the Seeding Drug Discovery initiative was set up to facilitate”.
Louise Makin, BTG’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: "We believe Senexis’ platform and expertise in protecting cells and tissues from amyloid-induced toxicity gives them a real competitive advantage in taking these innovative compounds forwards. We are pleased to continue to support the Company’s development”.
The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to double over the next two decades. Currently, five million people in the US alone are affected by the disease.
Mark Treherne, Chief Executive
+44 (0)7711 190 718
Andy Burrows, Director of Investor Relations
+44 (0)20 7575 1741
Senexis is a growing drug development company, dedicated to the discovery of effective treatments and diagnostics for major ageing-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's dementia. It is now widely believed that the misfolding and aggregation of amyloid-like proteins underlies the pathologies of Alzheimer’s disease and Senexis has discovered potent and selective compounds that protect cells and tissues from the toxic forms of amyloid. Further information on Senexis can be found at www.senexis.com.
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 London, Philadelphia and Osaka. For further information, visit www.btgplc.com.
About the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is the largest charity in the UK. It funds innovative biomedical research, in the UK and internationally, spending around £500 million each year to support the brightest scientists with the best ideas. The Wellcome Trust supports public debate about biomedical research and its impact on health and wellbeing. The £91-million Seeding Drug Discovery initiative aims to bridge the funding gap in early-stage drug discovery, assisting researchers to take forward projects in small molecule therapeutics that will be the springboard for further research and development by the biotech and pharmaceutical industry.
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