SOURCE: Antisoma plc

February 12, 2009 02:16 ET

ASA404 to be developed in breast cancer

LONDON, UK--(Marketwire - February 12, 2009) -


London, UK, and Cambridge, MA, 12 February 2009 - Antisoma plc (LSE: ASM; USOTC:ATSMY) announces that its Tumour-Vascular Disrupting Agent, ASA404, will be evaluated by Novartis as a treatment for HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer. This indication is being prioritised ahead of prostate cancer, in which a phase II trial has been completed. Details of the plans for trials in breast cancer will be available later this year.

Antisoma and Novartis have a worldwide development and commercialisation agreement for ASA404. Trials in breast cancer will be in addition to two ongoing pivotal phase III trials in patients with non-small cell lung cancer, one (ATTRACT-1) testing ASA404 as a first-line treatment and the other (ATTRACT-2) evaluating ASA404 as a second-line treatment. Because ASA404 acts by disrupting tumour blood vessels, it has potential application against a variety of solid tumours, all of which depend on tumour blood vessels to survive and grow.

Glyn Edwards, Antisoma's CEO, said: "We are very pleased that Novartis is extending the development of ASA404 to metastatic breast cancer. This represents a significant additional opportunity for ASA404. While there have been many advances in the treatment of breast cancer, there remains a great need for new and innovative approaches, especially for patients with metastatic cancer."

About metastatic breast cancer

Worldwide, more than a million women are diagnosed with breast cancer and over 400,000 die from the disease each year. Metastatic breast cancer is the most advanced stage (stage IV). Over 100,000 patients present with stage IV disease each year in the US, Europe and Japan.

About ASA404

ASA404 (DMXAA) is a small-molecule Tumour-Vascular Disrupting Agent (Tumour-VDA) which selectively 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 August 2001. In a randomised phase II study in non-small cell lung cancer, addition of ASA404 to standard first-line chemotherapy was associated with a 5 month improvement in median survival. Worldwide rights to the drug were licensed to Novartis AG in April 2007.

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 www.antisoma.com for further information about Antisoma.

Enquiries:

Glyn Edwards, CEO
Daniel Elger, VP, Marketing & Communications      +44 (0)7909 915 068
Antisoma plc

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

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