WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 6, 2003--BTG (LSE: BGC), the global technology commercialization company, today announced it has acquired the intellectual property rights to a portfolio of pre-clinical compounds designed to treat Alzheimer's Disease, from Sankyo Co., Ltd., Japan.
The portfolio encompasses three different therapeutic approaches to the disease. BGC20-1259 (RS-1259) combines acetylcholinesterase inhibition with inhibition of serotonin transport in the same molecule. This combined approach gives the compound the potential to offer patients an improved cognitive response, compared to existing therapy, while also providing treatment for the anxiety and depression common in Alzheimer's sufferers.
The other two approaches target beta-amyloid, with the potential to combat the toxic effects of amyloid on the brain (a suspected cause of Alzheimer's Disease). BGC20-1178 (RS-1178) is a potent inhibitor of neuro-inflammation caused by beta-amyloid while BGC20- 0406 (RS-0406) is a small molecule inhibitor of amyloid oligomerization (the process by which amyloid self-associates to produce toxic aggregates) and has also been shown to disaggregate already formed amyloid fibrils.
All three programs represent promising therapeutic approaches to the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease, the progressive degenerative disease that slowly kills nerve cells in the brain, primarily afflicting people over 65. The US Alzheimer's Disease market is currently valued in excess of $1.0 billion with a forecast annual growth rate of 10% to 2010. It is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disease in the world and the most common cause of dementia in the western hemisphere. In the US, the prevalence of Alzheimer's affects roughly 4 million, with 360,000 new cases per year - current estimates stand at 13.2 million cases in the US by 2050, unless a cure or prevention is found.(1) Given increasing patient numbers and the limitations of available therapies, the market is an attractive investment with a huge unmet need.
BTG plans to continue the preclinical development of these programs and will be seeking pharmaceutical companies with the capability and commitment to further develop and to bring these compounds to market.
"These programs represent a valuable addition to our portfolio of technologies in diseases of ageing and indicate our intention to work with major pharmaceutical partners to add value to and generate returns on their non-core assets", said Dr. Russell Hagan, Head of BTG's Ageing & Neuroscience Business Unit. "We look forward to seeing these compounds developed further, and see them as another example of BTG bringing valuable and life-improving innovations from the research level to everyday use."
BTG finds, develops and commercializes emerging technologies in the life and physical sciences. These innovations are protected by a strong portfolio of intellectual property that BTG develops and enhances. BTG then captures the value in these technologies through licensing and venturing activities. From the origins of its business in 1949, BTG has commercialized major innovations such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), recombinant factor IX blood-clotting protein, Campath(R) (alemtuzumab) and Multilevel Cell (MLC) memory. BTG is quoted on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol "BGC" and operates through wholly owned subsidiaries, BTG International Ltd and BTG International Inc in the UK and USA, respectively. Further information on BTG can be found at www.btgplc.com
Sankyo Co. Ltd. is a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company, with annual worldwide sales of $4.8 billion. Sankyo has a long history of discovering new classes of drugs for more than 100 years, including the statin class of lipid-lowering drugs, with its discovery of the first statin. Sankyo discovered, co-developed and manufactures pravastatin sodium.
(1) Alzheimer's Association, 2001
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