Bio-Technology General Corp. has initiated a Phase I clinicalstudy of BioTropin, its recombinant human growth hormone, inelderly patients hospitalized with hip fracture.

The New York company said Friday that hGH supplementationmay enhance protein synthesis in these patients and preventwasting (loss of lean body mass), thereby improving recoveriesand shortening hospital stays.

Up to 20 percent of hip fracture patients die within the firstyear following injury. The company said the trauma of theinjury sends patients into a catabolic state that causeswasting. Wasting is also caused by hospitalization andimmobilization.

The trial will be at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NewYork. BTG's hGH has been approved for sale in the Netherlands,Luxembourg and Denmark. In June, the European Committee forProprietary Medicinal Products recommended approval of thedrug, which will be sold by BTG's licensee, SmithKlineBeecham.

BTG stock (NASDAQ:BTGC) closed down 13 cents on Friday at$6.75.

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