SOURCE: Antisoma plc

December 09, 2005 06:21 ET

Antisoma AGM update

LONDON, UK -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 9, 2005 -- Cancer drug developer Antisoma plc (LSE: ASM) (OTC: ATSMY) holds its Annual General Meeting today. At the meeting, CEO Glyn Edwards will review the Company's progress since its preliminary year-end results:

"Since September we have announced preliminary phase II data on AS1404, reported additional clinical findings on AS1411 and strengthened our balance sheet through a £6.55 million share placing.

Clinical pipeline developments In October we announced promising preliminary findings from our phase II study of AS1404 in lung cancer. At that time, initial data were available from 47 patients, of whom 23 had received AS1404 plus chemotherapy and 24 chemotherapy alone. Comparison of tumour responses favoured the AS1404 group, with a particularly marked difference in the proportion of patients showing progressive disease after treatment. The side-effect profile in patients receiving AS1404 on top of chemotherapy was consistent with that seen after chemotherapy alone. Follow-up of patients continues, and we plan to present further data at medical congresses. Crucial findings on disease progression are expected during the first half of 2006, with survival data to follow. Also anticipated next year are findings from two other ongoing phase II trials of AS1404, in prostate and ovarian cancers. AS1404 acts against tumour blood vessels, and therefore has potential against a wide variety of cancers. Our programme of phase II trials addresses some of the largest cancer markets.

In November we announced encouraging long-term follow up data from the initial phase I study of AS1411, which included three patients with advanced renal cancer. Two of these patients experienced a long period of disease stabilisation before relapse and the third continues to maintain a near-complete response 16 months after treatment. The phase I study was reopened in September, and is now recruiting additional patients with renal and lung cancers. Data from the newly enrolled patients will be available during 2006. While renal cancer may offer opportunities for expedited progress towards the market, the evidence available leads us to believe that AS1411 also has potential against other cancers.

R1550 is being tested by our partner, Roche, in a phase I trial in metastatic (spreading) breast cancer. The trial examines the safety, dosing and handling of the drug, as well as looking for signs of anti-cancer activity. We expect results during the first half of 2006. R1550 could have potential against various cancers because the target for the drug is found in many solid tumours.

Preclinical pipeline developments Various telomere targeting agents (TTAs) with different chemical structures have been produced under our collaboration with the London School of Pharmacy. We expected AS1410 to be the first to enter the clinic, but unacceptable toxicity has been seen with this particular candidate. This was not related to its desired action on telomeres. We have therefore decided to select an alternative candidate from the TTA programme for clinical development.

This week we have announced new preclinical data supporting AS1409, a drug designed to deliver a targeted dose of IL12 to tumours. Past clinical trials carried out by other companies have shown IL12 to have potent anti-cancer activity, but when used alone it also has serious side-effects. The new work shows that, because of its targeted effect, AS1409 is more effective at inhibiting tumour growth in various models than untargeted IL12. This means that AS1409 could potentially be used at lower doses to minimise unwanted effects on healthy tissues. The drug is now expected to start clinical trials in mid-2006.

AS1406 is our lead 'targeted apoptosis' agent. We have made good progress in overcoming some practical issues in the manufacturing of this drug, and are now preparing to advance it into the final stages of preclinical development. AS1406 was developed through a collaboration with the US National Cancer Institute and has shown potent effects against both blood cancers and solid tumours.

Fundraising We strengthened our balance sheet this week with a £6.55 million share placing to new and existing institutional investors in the UK and Continental Europe.

US ADR Program This week we announced the establishment of a Level One Program of American Depositary Receipts. This will enable US investors in Antisoma to trade in a dollar-denominated security and is intended as a step towards a full listing of Antisoma's shares on NASDAQ.

Outlook We have an exciting year in prospect, with expected newsflow including some clear answers on AS1404, substantial new data on AS1411, pointers to the future development of R1550 and entry of AS1409 into clinical trials."

Enquiries: Glyn Edwards, CEO Daniel Elger, Director of Communications +44 (0)7909 915 068 Antisoma plc

Mark Court/Lisa Baderoon/Rebecca Skye Dietrich +44 (0)20 7466 5000 Buchanan Communications

Disclaimer 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.

Background on Antisoma Based in London, UK, 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. Both AS1404 and R1550 are included within this alliance. Please visit for further information about Antisoma.


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