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News

New market launch of Factor IX treatment for Haemophilia B

BTG : 20 January, 2000  (New Product)
BeneFIX, the first recombinant Factor IX therapy for the treatment of haemophilia B, has been launched in the UK and the majority of Europe by Baxter Hyland Immuno. BeneFIX was developed by BTG's licensee Genetics Institute, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Home Products Corporation. Baxter Healthcare has acquired exclusive distribution rights from GI for BeneFIX in Europe.
BeneFIX, the first recombinant Factor IX therapy for the treatment of haemophilia B, has been launched in the UK and the majority of Europe by Baxter Hyland Immuno. BeneFIX was developed by BTG's licensee Genetics Institute, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Home Products Corporation. Baxter Healthcare has acquired exclusive distribution rights from GI for BeneFIX in Europe.

BeneFIX is the first non-plasma-derived blood clotting therapy for the treatment of haemophilia B. It is made through recombinant DNA technology without the addition of any human or animal derived proteins. It is inherently free from the risk of transmitting blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis and HIV, which have been associated with Factor IX products made from human plasma.

Ian Harvey, Chief Executive of BTG plc, said: ' BeneFIX was launched in the US two years ago and is now used to treat the majority of patients with haemophilia B. Sales have been well above our expectations and revenue earned from this drug will be greater than that generated by MRI last year. This is an excellent example of how substantial revenues can be generated from newly launched products within a short timeframe.'

Haemophilia B is caused by a deficiency or defect in Factor IX, one of a number of proteins involved in blood clotting. It is an inherited disorder that primarily affects males. Factor IX deficiency results in frequent haemorrhages that can be crippling and life-threatening. There are approximately 1,100 patients with haemophilia B in the UK. The current market for blood-derived Factor IX clotting therapies is an approximate $150 million worldwide.

BTG acquired rights to the Factor IX technology from two sources, Professor George Brownlee's research group at the University of Oxford and Professor Davie's group at the Washington Research Foundation in Seattle, and was responsible for establishing a worldwide patent portfolio. Two other licensees in the US, Genetic Therapy Inc and Transkaryotic Therapies Inc, are continuing development of the technology for the treatment of haemophilia B by gene therapy, and PPL Therapeutics in the UK is licensed to develop the production of Factor IX in the milk of transgenic sheep.
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