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Antisoma PLC (SRC)

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Monday 26 July, 2004

Antisoma PLC

Research Update

Antisoma PLC
26 July 2004

     Antisoma gains exclusive rights to develop ATTACK agent BC1-IL12

London UK, 26 July 2004 -- Cancer drug development company Antisoma plc (LSE:
ASM) today announces that it has gained exclusive rights over the drug BC1-IL12
and will now accelerate the agent's development. This follows Antisoma's
acquisition of EMD Lexigen's half stake in the programme through the licensing
of technology as detailed below.

BC1-IL2, which will now be known as AS1409, is an ATTACK (Antitumour Therapy
with Targeting Antibodies and CytoKines) agent made using Lexigen's '
immunocytokine' technology to combine the cytokine IL12 with Antisoma's
tumour-targeting antibody BC1.

Antisoma will prepare AS1409 for clinical trials, building upon promising data
presented earlier this year at the American Association of Cancer Research
(AACR) meeting. The drug significantly reduced the growth of tumours in mice
carrying human colon, prostate and skin cancers. In a model of metastatic
(spreading) lung cancer, coverage of lung surfaces by tumour was 99% lower with
AS1409 than with a control.

Antisoma CEO Glyn Edwards said, 'Clinical trials have shown that IL12 used alone
has remarkable anti-cancer actions, but these are overshadowed by side effects.
AS1409 seeks to harness the power of IL12 by combining it with an antibody that
focuses its actions specifically on tumours. With promising preclinical data in
a variety of cancers we are keen to push this drug forward, and believe that it
will be a strong candidate for inclusion into our strategic alliance with 


Antisoma plc
Glyn Edwards, Chief Executive Officer                Tel: +44 (0)20 8799 8200

Financial Dynamics
Julia Phillips                                       Tel: +44 (0)20 7831 3113

De Facto Communications (mainland Europe)
Yvonne Alexander                                     Tel: +44 (0)20 7940 1000

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.

Notes for Editors:

About the licensing deal

EMD Lexigen Research Center Corp is an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt,
Germany.  Antisoma has acquired an exclusive, worldwide license to EMD Lexigen's
half-stake in the intellectual property arising from a jointly conducted
research programme and has licensed other technology from EMD Lexigen, EMD
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Biovation Ltd., also affiliates of Merck KGaA.

About Antisoma

Based in London, UK, Antisoma is a biopharmaceutical company that develops novel
products for the treatment of cancer. The Company 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. Antisoma forms partnerships
with pharmaceutical companies to bring its products to market.  In November
2002, Antisoma formed a broad strategic alliance with Roche to develop and
commercialise products from Antisoma's pipeline. Please visit
for further information about Antisoma.

About EMD Lexigen Research Center

EMD Lexigen Research Center is a research-driven company focused on developing
new generations of therapies for cancer and other serious and life-threatening
diseases. EMD Lexigen is a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Its
research center, located in the Route 128 Biotech Corridor near Boston, Mass.,
is a hub for Merck KGaA's biological pharmaceutical research activities,
emphasizing advanced pharmaceutical platform technologies and novel drugs.

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