SOURCE: Antisoma plc

December 09, 2009 02:14 ET

ASA404 to feature in Novartis Oncology Pipeline Update and at San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

LONDON and CAMBRIDGE, MA and BASEL, SWITZERLAND--(Marketwire - December 9, 2009) - Antisoma plc (LSE: ASM; USOTC: ATSMY) announces that Novartis, its partner for ASA404, will feature ASA404 in today's Oncology pipeline update for investors. A webcast will be available via the Novartis website at

The update covers recent progress on the ASA404 lung cancer programme, notably the completion of enrolment into the ATTRACT-1 trial investigating ASA404 as a first-line treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Novartis also reiterates its plan to file ASA404 in NSCLC in 2011 and to extend development of ASA404 to breast cancer. The breast cancer programme will include a phase IB/II trial starting in 2010. This trial will enrol patients receiving first-line treatment for HER-2 negative metastatic disease and will combine ASA404 with taxanes. Additional details are not being made public at this time, and are expected to be announced at the time the breast cancer trials begin.

Preclinical data on ASA404 in breast cancer will be presented this week by Novartis scientists at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. A poster entitled "Combination effects following addition of the Tumour-Vascular Disrupting Agent ASA404 (vadimezan) to taxane-containing regimens of trastuzumab and bevacizumab in human breast cancer xenograft models" will be presented at the meeting on Friday.

Glyn Edwards, Antisoma's CEO, said: "Novartis is running a substantial development programme for ASA404 in non-small cell lung cancer and we are very pleased to see this extending to HER-2 negative metastatic breast cancer, another major cancer indication where there is significant unmet need."

Antisoma plc:
Glyn Edwards, CEO                                +44 (0) 203 249 2100
Daniel Elger, VP, Marketing &                    +44 (0) 7909 915 068

Mark Court/Lisa Baderoon/Catherine Breen         +44 (0)20 7466 5000
Buchanan Communications

Brian Korb                                       +1 646 378 2923
The Trout Group

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.

About ASA404

ASA404 (vadimezan, formerly known as DMXAA and AS1404) is a small-molecule Tumour-Vascular Disrupting Agent (Tumour-VDA) which targets the blood vessels that nourish tumours. The drug was discovered by Professors Bruce Baguley and William Denny and their teams at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre, University of Auckland, New Zealand. It was in-licensed by Antisoma from Cancer Research Ventures Limited (now Cancer Research Technology), the development and commercialisation company of the Cancer Research Campaign (now Cancer Research UK), in 2001. Worldwide rights to the drug were licensed to Novartis AG in April 2007; Antisoma has an option to co-sell ASA404 with Novartis in the United States. Novartis is conducting phase III studies of ASA404 in NSCLC, and also plans to investigate the drug's potential as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer.

A randomised phase II trial in patients receiving first-line treatment for NSCLC showed that addition of ASA404 to carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy improved survival by 5 months. A second, single-arm, phase II trial also reported positive results with ASA404 in the same patient group.

About Antisoma

Antisoma is a London Stock Exchange-listed biopharmaceutical company that develops novel products for the treatment of cancer. The Company has operations in the UK and the US. Please visit for further information about Antisoma.

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