SOURCE: Antisoma plc

April 20, 2009 02:11 ET

Data on three Antisoma drugs presented at AACR meeting

LONDON--(Marketwire - April 20, 2009) -


Data on three Antisoma drugs presented at AACR meeting

London, UK, Cambridge, MA, and Denver, CO, 20 April 2009 - Antisoma plc (LSE: ASM; USOTC:ATSMY) announces that new data supporting three of its drugs are reported in five presentations being given this week at the centennial meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Denver, Colorado.

Two presentations report positive data from animal tumour studies where ASA404 was given in combination with targeted therapies from the pipeline of Novartis, Antisoma's partner for ASA404. These therapies are RAD001, an mTOR inhibitor recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the brand name Afinitor® (everolimus) tablets for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma after failure of treatment with sunitinib or sorafenib; and patupilone, a novel non-taxane microtubule stabilising agent in phase III trials for ovarian cancer and in earlier-stage trials in other settings.

The other three presentations report new data on the mechanisms by which ASA404, AS1413 and AS1411 exert their anti-cancer effects.

Dr Ursula Ney, Antisoma's Chief Operating Officer, said: "The AACR presentations illustrate the breadth of work being undertaken to explore the potential of our drugs. Of particular interest are the preclinical findings supporting potential new combinations of ASA404 with targeted therapies in lung and renal cancers."

Details of the AACR presentations are included below. The abstracts are available on the AACR website at www.aacr.org.

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.

Details of the AACR presentations

Improvement in efficacy and tolerability over carboplatin and
paclitaxel with the triple combination of carboplatin, ASA404 and
patupilone (EPO906) in an in vivo NSCLC model
S Ferretti, M Berger, DB Evans, PM McSheehy
Oral presentation in a Minisymposium session
Session ID: Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics
45
Session Date and Time: Wednesday, April 22, 2009, 8:30 AM
Abstract Number: 5648

Preclinical testing of a vascular disrupting agent in combination to
an mTOR inhibitor in renal cell carcinoma models
Preeti Shah, Georges Ndikuyeze, Hans Hammers, Roberto Pili
Session ID: Tumor Biology 25
Session Date and Time: Monday, April 20, 2009, 1:00 PM
Location: Hall B-F, Poster Section 10
Abstract Number: 2328

The anti-tumor agent, DMXAA, activates p38 map kinase which is
involved in proinflammatory cytokine production in murine macrophages
Jing Sun, Zvi G. Fridlender, Luana P.L. Pereira, Guanjun Cheng,
Lai-Ming Ching and Steven M. Albelda
Session ID: Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics 32

Session Date and Time: Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 1:00 PM
Location: Hall B-F, Poster Section 34
Abstract Number: 4623

Amonafide (AS1413) intercalates into DNA and is a unique inhibitor of
DNA topoisomerase II
Yoko Otake, MyDoanh Chau, Robert L. Capizzi and Daniel Fernandes
Session ID: Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics 5
Session Date and Time: Sunday, April 19, 2009, 1:00 PM
Location: Hall B-F, Poster Section 33
Abstract Number: 1700


Plasma membrane nucleolin is a receptor for the anticancer aptamer
AS1411 in MV4-11 leukemia cells
Li Wang, Vijayalakshmi Sridharan, Sridharan Soundararajan, Robert
Stuart, Fiona McLaughlin, Nigel Courtenay-Luck and Daniel Fernandes
Session ID: Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics 2

Session Date and Time: Sunday, April 19, 2009, 8:00 AM
Location: Hall B-F, Poster Section 36
Abstract Number: 842

About ASA404

ASA404 (DMXAA) is a small-molecule Tumour-Vascular Disrupting Agent (Tumour-VDA) that selectively disrupts tumour blood vessels, generating tumour death (necrosis) due to the resulting lack of blood flow in the tumour. 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 (NSCLC), addition of ASA404 to standard first-line chemotherapy was associated with a five month improvement in median survival. Worldwide rights to ASA404 were licensed to Novartis AG in April 2007. Novartis is currently investigating ASA404 in two pivotal phase III trials: ATTRACT-1, which is testing ASA404 as a first-line treatment for advanced NSCLC; and ATTRACT-2, which is testing ASA404 as a second-line treatment for advanced NSCLC. There are also plans to evaluate the drug in patients with metastatic breast cancer.

About AS1413

AS1413 (amonafide L-malate) is a DNA intercalator that induces apoptotic signalling by blocking Topoisomerase II binding to DNA. This differs from the action of classical Topoisomerase II inhibitors, which induce apoptosis by causing extensive DNA damage. A further distinctive feature of AS1413 is its ability to evade Pgp and related transporters responsible for multi-drug resistance (MDR). Patients with secondary AML often have multi-drug resistant disease. AS1413 was added to Antisoma's pipeline through the acquisition of Xanthus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in June 2008. In an 88-patient phase II trial, the combination of AS1413 and cytarabine produced a 38.6% CR rate in patients with secondary AML. The same regimen is now being compared with daunorubicin plus cytarabine in a pivotal randomised phase III trial, ACCEDE, being conducted under an SPA from the US Food and Drug Administration.

About AS1411

AS1411 is a DNA aptamer. Aptamers are short pieces of DNA or RNA that assume a specific three-dimensional shape capable of highly specific targeting. AS1411 binds to nucleolin, a protein expressed in the nucleus of all cells but which in cancer cells is also found on the cell surface. When AS1411 binds to nucleolin on cancer cells, it is internalised and causes apoptosis through interference with various functions of nucleolin. AS1411 was originally developed by Dr Paula Bates, Dr John Trent and Prof. Donald Miller at the University of Alabama and then at the University of Louisville. Antisoma added AS1411 to its pipeline when it acquired the Louisville-based company Aptamera Inc. in February 2005. A 30-patient phase I trial provided evidence for activity of AS1411 monotherapy. Initial data from a randomised phase II trial combining AS1411 with cytarabine in patients with AML have provided further evidence of activity; final data from this trial are expected during the second quarter of 2009. A separate phase II trial is ongoing in patients with renal cancer.

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.

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