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Antisoma Reviews Portfolio: Drops AS1405 to Accelerate AS1411 - [Editor`s note: Brain tumor trial to close immediatley!]


Posted on: 05/05/2005

Antisoma Reviews Portfolio: Drops AS1405 to Accelerate AS1411 - [Editor's note: Brain tumor trial to close immediatley!]

Source: Antisoma plc

LONDON, May 5, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Cancer drug developer Antisoma (LSE:ASM) today announces that it plans to expand and accelerate trials of its aptamer drug AS1411, following an internal review of its portfolio. Additional investment will be supported by transferring resources from the brain cancer drug AS1405, trials of which will be suspended immediately. Antisoma's Board believes that this shift will maximise overall returns on investment in the pipeline. As AS1405 remains an attractive niche opportunity, it will be made available for out-licensing to other parties interested in pursuing its development.

AS1411 has shown promising signs of anti-cancer activity in a phase I study. This study recruited patients with various cancers up until June 2004. It will now reopen for recruitment of patients with two types of tumour, providing the opportunity to gather specific evidence for activity in these cancers. Full details of the trial plans will be announced following the presentation of AS1411 phase I data at ASCO on May 15.

Antisoma's CEO Glyn Edwards said: "One of our strengths is portfolio management. We're determined that our cash resources should be focused where there is the best prospect of a return for shareholders, and we are quite prepared to cut programmes when necessary to invest more in those with the greatest promise. Everything we have seen to date suggests that the case for extra investment in AS1411 is compelling."

Enquiries:

Companies with an interest in licensing AS1405 should contact Nick Adams, Director of Business Development at Antisoma on +44 208 799 8200.

Except for the historical information presented, certain matters discussed in this statement are forward looking statements that are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. These risks and uncertainties may be associated with product discovery and development, including statements regarding the company's clinical development programmes, the expected timing of clinical trials and regulatory filings. Such statements are based on management's current expectations, but actual results may differ materially.

AS1405

AS1405 (90Y-muBC1) is a radiolabelled mouse monoclonal antibody against the protein oncofetal fibronectin, which is found in the newly forming blood vessels of tumours. Antisoma's phase I trial has focused on patients with glioblastoma multiforme, a form of brain cancer, where AS1405 was administered directly into the cavity left by surgical removal of the tumour. The rationale for AS1405 is that the antibody component targets the product specifically to the vicinity of cancer cells, such as those left after surgery, allowing the radiolabel yttrium 90 to deliver a targeted dose of radiation.

AS1411

AS1411 is an aptamer, an oligonucleotide that can fold into a stable, three-dimensional structure capable of interacting with a particular target protein. AS1411 binds with high-specificity to the protein nucleolin, which is found on the surface of cancer cells. When AS1411 binds to cell-surface nucleolin, it is internalised and has been shown to kill cancer cells in a range of models. Results from a phase I trial of patients with various cancers will be presented at ASCO later this month.

Background on Antisoma

Based in London, U.K., Antisoma is a biopharmaceutical company that develops novel products for the treatment of cancer. Antisoma fills its development pipeline by acquiring promising new product candidates from internationally recognised academic or cancer research institutions. Its core activity is the preclinical and clinical development of these drug candidates. In 2002, Antisoma formed a broad strategic alliance with Roche to develop and commercialise products from Antisoma's pipeline. Please visit www.Antisoma.com for further information about Antisoma.

CONTACT: Antisoma plc

Daniel Elger

Director of Communications

+44 (0)20 8799 8200

Buchanan Communications (U.K. enquiries)

Mark Court/Lisa Baderoon/Rebecca Skye Dietrich

+44 (0)20 7466 5000



De Facto Communications (ex-U.K. enquiries) Richard Anderson

+44 (0)20 7940 1000


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