SOURCE: Antisoma plc

April 19, 2007 01:55 ET

Antisoma strategy update - joint statement from the Chairman and CEO

LONDON, UK -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 19, 2007 --

Future opportunities

Today's AS1404 licensing deal with Novartis is a great achievement. It is also an important step along the way to making Antisoma a significant and self-sustaining bio-pharmaceutical company. Our recent successes have provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to take our business forward. This will involve further expansion and diversification of our product pipeline. It will also entail a transition towards a business with a substantial role in commercialising its own products.

Expanding and diversifying the pipeline

The Board believes that the Company's risk-reward profile could be significantly enhanced by further expansion of its pipeline. To this end, the Board plans an active programme of in-licensing and to examine opportunities to acquire other oncology companies.

Building a sales and marketing operation

An attractive feature of the deal announced today is the opportunity for Antisoma to participate in selling its own products in the USA. Should AS1404 reach the market, the agreement includes the potential for Novartis to fund certain of Antisoma's commercialisation costs. This could make it easier for Antisoma to bring other products to market, allowing the Company to retain more of their value. The Board intends to continue to develop AS1411 independently with this possibility in mind. It will also consider potential sales synergies when seeking new assets for the pipeline.

Maximising the support of capital markets

Antisoma appreciates the strong support it has received from its investors through its listing on the London Stock Exchange. As stated previously, the Board also sees attractions in taking an additional listing in the United States. This would broaden the capital base supporting the Company's development. Many of the products Antisoma would like to acquire are owned by US companies. Dollar-denominated stock would be a valuable currency for licensing and acquisitions. The Board will continue to evaluate the potential for a US listing and when this would best be timed.

Dialogue with shareholders

Antisoma's Board intends to discuss the above plans with shareholders. Resolutions supporting the plans will be put to an EGM. They will include a renewal of the Company's authority to issue new shares up to around a third of the issued number. This will provide the Board with flexibility to conclude small and medium-sized acquisitions for equity. Any larger M&A opportunities would be subject to shareholder approval in a further EGM.

The Board is also minded to seek a renewal of its authority to issue shares for cash in a non-pre-emptive issue. This would provide flexibility, for example to offer new shares as American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) should the Board decide to list the Company in the US. In assessing the need for any issue of new ADRs, the Board would consider the demand for conversion of existing ordinary shares to ADRs. The principal aim of any new issue would be to ensure that the resulting total number of ADRs represented enough of the Company's equity and traded with sufficient liquidity to make them a valuable acquisition currency.

Positive outlook

The period ahead will be an exciting one. We have formed a great partnership with Novartis to develop and commercialise AS1404. Further important phase II data on AS1404 are expected this year. Other drugs in our pipeline, notably AS1411, are showing real promise. We are now very well equipped to acquire and develop new products and to continue to grow the business.

Barry Price, Chairman
Glyn Edwards, CEO


Glyn Edwards, CEO
Daniel Elger, Director of Communications          +44 (0)20 8799 8200
Antisoma plc

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

Brian Korb
The Trout Group                                   +1  646 378 2923

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. Please visit for further information about Antisoma.


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