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News

BTG acquires novel technology for the treatment of cytokine mediated disorders

BTG : 05 August, 2000  (Company News)
BTG plc has acquired, for licensing, a novel gene therapy approach for the treatment of numerous disorders that are known to be associated with excess production of specific cytokines. These disorders include asthma, allergic symptoms, septic shock syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. This technology was developed by Dr Richard Zheng of Queen Mary and Westfield College, UK and Dr Peter Eagles of King's College London, UK.
This new approach will use gene specific DNA sequences to inhibit cytokine production. It may also enable more than one cytokine to be inhibited simultaneously through the administration of a single therapeutic.

The technique has been demonstrated experimentally to significantly inhibit the production of those cytokines associated with asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. It is hoped that this therapeutics based on this technology will reduce the symptoms of these disorders to manageable levels and prevent disease progression in affected individuals. This non-steroid based treatment should not have the gastric complications commonly seen with conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, the therapeutic class that are currently prescribed for a number of inflammatory disorders.

This technology is a promising new therapeutic approach for the millions of individuals who suffer from cytokine mediated inflammatory disorders. About 150 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, for example, of which approximately 7.5 million would be classified as severe. The global asthma market is currently in excess of 1.8 billion and is estimated to double by 2005. About 5 million individuals worldwide have rheumatoid arthritis, and global sales for NSAIDs, the main current treatment for this condition, is approximately 3.8 billion.

Peter Bailey, Director of BTG's Biosciences Division said: 'BTG is very pleased to be commercialising a technology which has the potential to relieve symptoms from many physiological disorders affecting millions of people worldwide.'

BTG is currently looking for suitable companies to develop and commercialise therapeutic products based on this technology.
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