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News

Innovative pharmacological approach for the treatment of sleep-related disorder

BTG : 26 September, 2006  (Technical Article)
BTG, the intellectual property and technology commercialisation company, today announced that it has signed a licensing and research agreement with the University of Illinois at Chicago to further develop a novel pharmacological therapy for the treatment of sleep apnoea. BTG plans to invest in the development of this innovative therapy to expand its portfolio of therapeutic programmes, particularly in the area of drug repositioning. Under the terms of the agreement, UIC grants BTG specific exclusive rights to intellectual property and inventions related to the development of therapeutic treatment of sleep apnoea, as well as rights to new intellectual property developed through the BTG-funded research programme.
BTG, the intellectual property and technology commercialisation company, today announced that it has signed a licensing and research agreement with the University of Illinois at Chicago to further develop a novel pharmacological therapy for the treatment of sleep apnoea. BTG plans to invest in the development of this innovative therapy to expand its portfolio of therapeutic programmes, particularly in the area of drug repositioning. Under the terms of the agreement, UIC grants BTG specific exclusive rights to intellectual property and inventions related to the development of therapeutic treatment of sleep apnoea, as well as rights to new intellectual property developed through the BTG-funded research programme.

The basis for the therapy being developed by BTG is work from noted sleep researchers Drs David Carley and Miodrag Radulovacki at UIC who have demonstrated that modulation of specific neurotransmitter signalling pathways significantly reduces the incidence of sleep apnoea in both preclinical and clinical studies. “BTG is very proud to be working with UIC and investigators of Drs Carley and Radulovacki’s stature. Based on their groundbreaking laboratory and clinical research, we are optimistic that a pharmacological therapeutic option to treat sleep apnoea is achievable,” said Thomas Logan Ph.D., Vice President of BTG’s BioPharmaceuticals Business Unit. “This investment project is a continuation of a very productive relationship between our institutions and is a lead programme in BTG’s growing portfolio of development programmes that involve new uses for existing drugs and drug combinations.”

Sleep apnoea is a serious respiratory disorder that involves cessation of breathing for prolonged intervals during sleep. It is estimated that 10-20 million people in Europe suffer from apnoea, which has been linked to increased risk for hypertension, heart failure, depression and diabetes. Currently, there are no approved pharmacological therapies to effectively treat sleep apnoea. The novel therapy being developed by BTG and UIC comprises a combination of two drugs that are currently approved and in use to treat indications that are unrelated to sleep apnoea.

“This has real clinical significance,” said Dr Carley, Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Bioengineering and Director of Research at the UIC Center for Sleep and Ventilatory Disorders. “Although sleep apnoea is as common as asthma or diabetes, there is currently no cure and no fully effective long-term treatment.”

“We believe that safe and effective drug treatments are achievable for sleep apnoea and we are delighted to have BTG as a strategic partner in this development programme,” added Dr Radulovacki, Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine.
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