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Antisoma Research Limited (SRC)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Thursday 03 February, 2005

Antisoma Research Limited

Aptamera's shareholders approve acquisitio...

Antisoma evaluating development options for aptamer drug and
servicing of American investors

London, UK, and Louisville, KY, USA:  3 February 2005 Cancer drug
developer Antisoma plc (LSE:ASM) announces that the shareholders of
Aptamera Inc yesterday approved Antisoma's acquisition of Aptamera.
All pre-closing conditions have now been satisfied or waived, save
for admission to the Official List and to trading on the London Stock
Exchange of the shares issued to effect the acquisition. Admission of
the shares and completion of the transaction are expected tomorrow, 4

Antisoma is evaluating options for the further development of
Aptamera's lead product, AGRO100, which is now redesignated AS1411.
The next step will be either a phase II study in a specific cancer or
the re-opening of Aptamera's phase I trial to seek further data on
the drug's effects. Anti-cancer activity has been seen in Aptamera's
trial, which also showed that AS1411 was well tolerated, causing no
serious adverse events in any of the patients treated.

Antisoma has highlighted renal cancer, pancreatic cancer and acute
myeloid leukemia as the indications where the case for developing
AS1411 is strongest. Each of these cancers alone represents an
attractive 'niche' market opportunity; all have a clear need for
improved treatment. Taking these indications together, Antisoma
estimates that there could be 170,000 eligible patients per year in
North America, Europe and Japan.

Following the acquisition of Aptamera, Antisoma will have around 30%
of its shares held by investors in North America. The Company is
considering how best to serve the specific needs of these investors
in the future.

Glyn Edwards, CEO of Antisoma said, "We intend to identify the best
and fastest way to test the anti-cancer efficacy of AS1411, building
on the very promising data from Aptamera's first clinical trial.  The
acquisition of Aptamera leaves us with four drugs in clinical trials,
all of which we expect to report important data during 2005."


Glyn Edwards, CEO               +44 (0)20 8799 8244
Antisoma plc

Neil Mackison                        +44 (0)20 7767 1000
ING Corporate Finance

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

Richard Anderson                    +44 (0)20 7940 1000
De Facto Communications (mainland European enquiries)

Jonathan Birt                            +1 917 941 7341
Financial Dynamics (United States Enquiries)

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 to Editors

Background on Aptamera
Aptamera is a privately-held drug development company based in
Kentucky, USA. Aptamera was formed to discover, develop and
commercialise new anti-cancer drugs that use a completely new and
unique mechanism of anti-tumour action. The drugs target a protein
termed nucleolin, which is found in the nucleus of all cell types,
but is also found on the cell surface of cancer cells. Aptamera's
core intellectual property surrounds cell-surface nucleolin as an
anti-proliferative target and drugs that bind to it. Extensive
preclinical testing has demonstrated a clear correlation between the
presence of cell-surface nucleolin and the ability to inhibit tumour
cell growth using Aptamera drugs.

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. 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.

AS1411 (formerly AGRO100) is a member of a class of drugs called
aptamers. Aptamers are drugs made up of a short sequence of
nucleotides - the building blocks found in DNA and RNA, that fold
into a stable three-dimensional structure. Structures can be produced
that interact with particular proteins, allowing aptamers to be used
as specific inhibitors of a protein's function. In December 2004,
Eyetech and Pfizer's Macugen for 'wet' age-related macular
degeneration (AMD) became the first aptamer drug to receive approval
from the US Food and Drug Administration.