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Xenova Group PLC (XEN)

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Monday 14 April, 2003

Xenova Group PLC

Research Update

Xenova Group PLC
14 April 2003

                                Xenova Group plc


      Patient Dosing Begins in Phase IIa Cocaine Administration Trial for
                      Anti-Cocaine Addiction Vaccine TA-CD


Slough, UK, 14th April 2003 - Xenova Group plc (Nasdaq NM: XNVA; London Stock
Exchange: XEN) today announced that patient dosing has begun in a Phase IIa
cocaine administration trial for Xenova's therapeutic vaccine TA-CD, which is
under development for the treatment of cocaine addiction. The ten-patient open
label trial is being conducted in the United States and is designed to evaluate
the effect of TA-CD on behavioural changes associated with cocaine
administration.

Cocaine-dependent volunteers, specifically selected from those not seeking to
quit, undergo psychological and physiological assessments whilst cocaine is
administered under laboratory conditions.  The effect of TA-CD will be
determined by comparing findings from before and after a four-dose immunisation
course. This study is being funded, in part, by the US National Institute on
Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA has also supported earlier clinical work on TA-CD. TA-CD
is the first vaccine to be developed with the goal of assisting cocaine abusers
in their attempt to quit cocaine.

Previous clinical studies have shown that administration of TA-CD leads to the
generation of antibodies that can bind free cocaine.  TA-CD is a cocaine
derivative conjugated to a carrier protein and formulated with an adjuvant.
Ultimately, it is intended for use alongside behavioural therapy programmes in
patients who are trying actively to overcome their cocaine addiction.

Cocaine abusers who make an attempt to quit are at risk of relapse if they '
slip' and use cocaine.  By vaccinating those who wish to quit, it is intended
that if the patient 'slips' the cocaine will bind to antibodies in the blood
stream and interfere with the ability of the cocaine to enter the brain and
stimulate the reward centres.  The objective of vaccination with TA-CD is to
reduce the euphoria obtained by the individual, thus diminishing the reinforcing
effects of cocaine and increasing the likelihood of a successful attempt to
quit.

Currently, there is no effective pharmacotherapy available for the approximately
900,000 individuals in the USA each year who seek medical help with respect to
their cocaine addiction.

'There is a substantial need for new approaches to help drug addicts overcome
their habit,' said David Oxlade, Chief Executive of Xenova.  'TA-CD has made
promising progress in earlier clinical studies and this additional trial is
designed to show for the first time whether addicts' behaviour can be altered by
administration of the TA-CD vaccine,' he added.


                                    - ends -

Contacts:
UK:                                        US:
Xenova Group plc                           Trout Group/BMC Communications
Tel: +44 (0)1753 706600                    Tel: 001 212 477 9007
David A Oxlade, 
Chief Executive Officer                    Press: Brad Miles (Ext 17) 
Daniel Abrams,                             Lauren Tortorete (Ext 20)
Group Finance Director                     Investors: Jonathan Fassberg 
Jon Davies, Corporate                      (Ext 16) Lee Stern (Ext 22)
Communications

Financial Dynamics
Tel: +44 (0)207 831 3113
David Yates/Ben Atwell


                                Notes to Editors

Xenova Group plc's product pipeline focuses principally on the therapeutic areas
of cancer and immune system disorders.  Xenova has a broad pipeline of
programmes in clinical development.  The Group has a well-established track
record in the identification, development and partnering of innovative products
and technologies and has partnerships with significant pharmaceutical and
biopharmaceutical companies including Lilly, Pfizer, Celltech, Genentech, QLT
and Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

TA-CD is designed for use alongside a behavioural therapy program in patients
who are trying actively to overcome their cocaine addiction. TA-CD represents a
completely new approach to the treatment of cocaine addiction by way of immune
intervention.  The vaccine aims to build an antibody response against the drug
which will neutralize its effect on the brain.  The results of an earlier
four-dose Phase IIa dose escalation study, which were reported in July 2001,
found that TA-CD was well tolerated both systemically and locally, and an
attenuation of the usual euphoric effects of cocaine was reported amongst five
of six patients who relapsed during the study, providing anecdotal evidence of
the benefit TA-CD may provide.  In April 2002 patient dosing began in an open
label Phase IIa dose escalation trial for TA-CD, which was designed to evaluate
the safety and immunogenicity of TA-CD using a 4 or 5 dose vaccination schedule.
This study is being funded in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse
(NIDA). NIDA has also supported earlier clinical work as part of this program.

Regular cocaine users number more than two million in the U.S. alone.  Of these,
approximately 900,000 seek treatment each year.  Most cocaine addicts are
treated by a specialist physician or psychiatrist in drug rehabilitation
centres. However, due to a high relapse rate reported with current treatment,
there is a clear need for an effective treatment to be used alongside a
behavioural therapy program, where currently nothing is available.


For further information about Xenova and its products please visit the Xenova
website at www.xenova.co.uk

For Xenova: Disclaimer to take advantage of the 'Safe Harbor' provisions of the
US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This press release contains
'forward-looking statements,' including statements about the discovery,
development and commercialization of products. Various risks may cause Xenova's
actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the
forward looking statements, including: adverse results in our drug discovery and
clinical development programs; failure to obtain patent protection for our
discoveries; commercial limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by
third parties; our dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and
commercialize products and services; difficulties or delays in obtaining
regulatory approvals to market products and services resulting from our
development efforts; the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research
and development and to expand commercialization activities; and product
initiatives by competitors.  For a further list and description of the risks and
uncertainties we face, see the reports we have filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.  We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or
revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information,
future events or otherwise.


                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange