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BTG, Inc. (BTGI) Announces Advance In Computer-Based Early-Stage Pre-Clinical Drug Assessment


10/19/2005 5:10:45 PM

3D BioPharmaceutical Computer Models Offer Cheap, Highly Effective Screening and Metabolic Assessment of Compounds

WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 13, 2003-- BTG (LSE: BGC - News), the global technology commercialization company, today announced it has acquired exclusive rights to a range of computer-based Lewis P450 Models which are affordable, accurate and have predictive capabilities for the rapid screening and profiling of compounds. These models, available for license on a single-pay, non-exclusive basis, are already being used by a number of pharmaceutical companies and represent one element in a growing portfolio of drug development technologies being commercialized by BTG. A major problem facing R&D departments in pharmaceutical companies today is the high cost associated with drug development and testing. The overall process of taking a new drug candidate from initial concept to approved product in the clinic can be as high as $500 million or more. Optimization of therapeutic properties for maximal efficacy must be achieved without introducing changes in the design of the compound that would have toxic potential. Often, millions can be spent before discovering that biochemical activity in the body is responsible for producing undesirable side effects or toxic reactions.

Cytochrome P450s, a family of enzymes (many of which exist in the liver), modify foreign molecules found in the blood. In some cases, these modifications can have toxic results or may make the drug ineffective against the target disease. The Lewis P450 Models allow drug companies - at the earliest stages of product development - to assess potential drug interactions using a panel of P450 computer models to determine which drug candidates should be ruled out of a drug development program, or for promising candidates, what further research and development is required.

These models, already licensed to a number of pharmaceutical companies, are proving highly effective as one of many tools used in early drug development. In addition to allowing timely screening of potential reactions between drug candidates and certain liver enzymes, the Lewis P450 Models have also proved predictive on several occasions - a significant advance in 3D molecular modeling. In addition, the models have been used successfully to design an improved derivative of 2,5 bis(trifluoromethyl)-7-benzyloxy-4-trifluoromethyl coumarin based on predictions of its likely interaction with CYP3A4.

"This P450 model screening system extends the range of early-stage design, screening and profiling tools needed by drug companies in order to prioritize and direct their efforts in developing effective, life-saving pharmaceuticals," said Professor David Lewis, Professor of Structural Biology, University of Surrey (UK).

Dr. Mike Murray, Associate Vice President of BTG's BioPharmaceuticals Business Unit, added "BTG looks forward to working with Professor Lewis and new licensees on this powerful tool by providing commercial access to the models and any improvements which may arise."

About BTG

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® (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

About Professor David FV Lewis

After graduating in Chemistry from the University of Bath, David Lewis gained an MSc in Spectroscopy from the University of Surrey and, subsequently, a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry. He was invited to join the then Biochemistry Department at Surrey as a research fellow in 1987 and was promoted to Reader in 1997, following a period of considerable advances in the structural modeling of cytochromes P450. David was made Professor in the School of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences in 2003, and he was recently awarded a DSc from the University of Bath. Professor Lewis is the author of two books on cytochromes P450 and he has over 180 publications in peer-reviewed journals. His particular research interests include structural modeling of human P450s associated with drug metabolism.

About University of Surrey

The University of Surrey is one of the UK's leading professional, scientific and technological universities with a world-class research profile and a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Groundbreaking research at the University is bringing direct benefit to all spheres of life - helping industry to maintain its competitive edge and creating improvements in the areas of health, medicine, space science, the environment, communications, defense and social policy. Programs in science and technology have gained widespread recognition and it also boasts flourishing programs in dance and music, social sciences, management and languages and law. In addition to the campus on 150 hectares just outside Guildford, Surrey, the University also owns and runs the Surrey Research Park, which provides facilities for 80 companies employing 2,500 staff.

The School of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/SBMS) has more than 1000 students studying for undergraduate, postgraduate and research degrees. It is highly active in biomedical research and has received recognition as an international center of excellence. It received a 5** rating in the 2001 RAE as part of its submission with colleagues in the PGMS (Subjects Allied to Medicine). The School's research areas include biomaterials, analytical/chemical biology, microbial sciences, toxicology and pharmacology, nutrition and food safety, neuropharmacology, human chronobiology/ psychopharmacology and sleep. Future plans include a reorganization of the School's research portfolio to embrace a themed "Molecules to Medicine" research philosophy. More than half of the School's GBP 17 million plus annual income derives from its research activities and almost all of the 85 academic staff in the School are research active and recognized experts in their fields. By 2004 over GBP 7m investment will have been made particularly into Functional Genomics, Proteomics and its Neuroscience capacity. These investments will ensure that the School successfully continues its mission to seek to improve human health through the provision of high quality teaching, training and research.

Contact:

BTG Colleen Henry, 610-943-3540 colleen.henry@btgplc.com www.btgplc.com or Taylor Rafferty Dave Leeney, 212-889-4350 david.leeney@taylor-rafferty.com

Source: BTG



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