British pharmaceutical firm BTG said this week that its experimental cancer gel failed to impress in mid-stage trials, meaning the search for a partner is now off.

Disappointingly, OncoGel - a sustained release formulation of the cancer drug paclitaxel - failed show any impact on overall tumour response in a Phase IIb study assessing its potential before surgery in patients with oesophageal cancer. 

Consequently, the company said a follow-up trial exploring the secondary endpoint of patient survival has been discontinued "as there can be no anticipated impact". 

Based on these results, BTG is abandoning its search a partner for OncoGel, although it will continue to assess other uses for the ReGel drug delivery technology on which the product is based, it stressed.

In brighter news the firm, which also has drugs for varicose veins and poison in its portfolio, said it is on track to hit its cash and revenue and targets for the year.

In line with previous guidance, for the 12 months to the end of March the group is expecting revenues in the range £108 million-£114 million (including recurring revenue of £98 million - £102 million),  and cash and cash equivalents of around £68 million - £73 million.

BTG also noted in a trading update that integration of the Biocompatibles business, which it purchased in January 2011, is "proceeding well".