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BTG GETS EXCLUSIVE LICENSE TO NEW CLASS OF CANCER DRUG.

BTG (LSE: BGC),West Conshohocken, Pa., the intellectual property and technology commercialization company, has concluded a license and research collaboration agreement with Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT), the technology transfer company of the charity Cancer Research UK, and The Institute of Cancer Research, for a new class of cancer drug.

Under the terms of this agreement (financial details were not disclosed), BTG has obtained exclusive worldwide rights to a series of novel quinazoline anti-tumor agents developed by Professor Ann Jackman and colleagues at The Institute of Cancer Research. These patented compounds are potent tumor growth inhibitors and appear to have a unique mechanism of action. Given their very promising anti-tumor activity in xenograft models, they show early signs of being an exciting novel class of anti-tumor agent.

BTG will be responsible for the future development and commercialization of these compounds, in the first instance partly through a sponsored collaboration at The Institute of Cancer Research. Within this collaborative program, Professor Jackman and colleagues will continue their laboratory studies on the compounds. BTG intends to then carry the work forward towards entry into the clinic.

Harpal Kumar, CEO of CRT, commented, "CRT is pleased to have entered into this partnership with BTG and The Institute of Cancer Research. We look forward to seeing these promising therapeutic agents progress towards the clinic, with the long-term aim of achieving patient benefit."

Roger Harrison, head of BTG's Oncology Business Unit, said, "The laboratory data on these compounds is impressive and suggests an exciting new mode of action. Given confirmation of these data, our aim will be to seek early proof-of-concept before licensing on to a pharmaceutical company partner. This is the model we are using successfully for our other cancer drugs, BGC 9331 and BGC 945."

About BTG

BTG creates value by investing in intellectual property and technology development, and in early stage ventures. We realize value through technology licensing, patent assertion and disposal of equity investments. Through a multi-disciplinary approach, we apply intellectual property and commercial expertise, together with specialist skills in science and technology, to create major product opportunities in the health and high tech sectors. BTG has commercialized important innovations, including alemtuzumab (Campathr), the first monoclonal antibody treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and Factor IX blood clotting protein, the first recombinant treatment for Hemophilia B. BTG operates through wholly owned subsidiaries BTG international Ltd. and BTG international Inc. in the UK and USA, respectively. Further information about BTG can be found at http://www.btgplc.com.

About The Institute of Cancer Research

The Institute of Cancer Research is one of the world's leading cancer research organizations and is internationally renowned for the quality of its science. The Institute was founded in 1909 to investigate the causes of cancer and develop new strategies for its prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. Its mission is the relief of human suffering by pursuing excellence in the fight against cancer. The Institute is a College of the University of London and works in a unique partnership with The Royal Marsden Hospital. Together they form Europe's largest comprehensive cancer center. The Institute is a charity that relies on voluntary income. Further information about The Institute of Cancer Research can be found at http://www.icr.ac.uk.

About Cancer Research Technology Limited

Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT) is a specialist technology transfer company which aims to develop new discoveries in cancer research for the benefit of cancer patients. CRT is wholly owned by Cancer Research UK, the largest independent funder of cancer research in the world. CRT works closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. CRT facilitates the discovery, development and marketing of new cancer therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics and enabling technologies. Further information about CRT can be found at http://www.cancertechnology.co.uk.

About Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK is Europe's leading cancer charity, dedicated to research into the causes, prevention and treatment of cancer. It supports the work of 3,000 scientists, doctors and nurses in over 80 academic centers across the UK. Cancer Research UK is the European leader in the development of novel anti-cancer treatments, from their discovery at the laboratory bench to early clinical trials in cancer patients. Further information about Cancer Research UK can be found at http://www.cancerresearchuk.org.
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Publication:Worldwide Biotech
Date:Jul 1, 2004
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