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Xenova Group PLC (XEN)

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Thursday 10 May, 2001

Xenova Group PLC

1st Quarter Results

Xenova Group PLC
10 May 2001

                                                         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

                               Xenova Group plc

                          First Quarter Results 2001

Slough, UK, 10 May, 2001 - Xenova Group plc (Nasdaq NM: XNVA; London Stock
Exchange: XEN) today announced its results for the quarter ended 31 March

Q1 Highlights

  * Merger with Cantab Pharmaceuticals plc
  * Multi-drug resistance programme - Lead drug candidate XR9576 shows
    positive interim Phase IIa study results
      + Abstracts to be presented to ASCO meeting in San Francisco on 12 May
  * Continued progress through pre-clinical development for second
    generation dual topoisomerase inhibitor programme
  * Pro forma cash/investments of combined group as at 31 March 2001 £25m

Commenting, Chief Executive Officer David Oxlade, said: 'The merger with
Cantab Pharmaceuticals provides us with a significantly enlarged clinical
pipeline, which includes seven programmes in clinical trials and a major area
of focus on cancer.  Integration of our two companies is proceeding well.'

Quarterly Review

Merger with Cantab Pharmaceuticals plc - It was announced on 19 February that
the Boards of Xenova Group plc ('Xenova') and Cantab Pharmaceuticals plc ('
Cantab') had agreed terms for a merger of their businesses.  The merger, which
has been achieved through a recommended all share offer to acquire the entire
share issue of Cantab, was declared unconditional on 6 April.  Xenova Group
plc, as the holding company of the enlarged Group, will retain its name and
will continue to trade on the London and Nasdaq exchanges under the Xenova
symbols XEN and XNVA respectively. Cancellation of the listing of, and trading
in, Cantab shares took place on 9 May and the compulsory acquisition of any
outstanding Cantab shares is expected to occur shortly.

The merger has created an enlarged Group with a substantial clinical
development pipeline and principal areas of focus on cancer, infectious
diseases and addiction.  This pipeline includes four product candidates in
Phase II trials, three in Phase I and a further five in pre-clinical
development.  Nine of the total pipeline of programmes are cancer-related.
Both companies have substantial expertise in these areas and we believe there
are considerable opportunities for the future development of novel drugs.

This development pipeline is underpinned by Xenova's and Cantab's highly
complementary research and development skill sets and strong drug discovery
and development capabilities in both the biopharmaceutical and medicinal
chemistry fields. This provides a significantly strengthened proprietary
technology base from which to develop the Group's current and future products.
The enlarged Group will also benefit from the important relationships
established by both companies with leading academic centres and institutions
in their respective fields, providing access to expertise, new intellectual
property and new product opportunities. The Group has corporate partnerships
with Celltech, Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer and expects to enter into
additional partnerships for the further development and commercialization of
the products that it is currently developing.

Following completion of the merger on 6 April, three Cantab executive
directors, Nick Hart (formerly Acting Chief Executive of Cantab and now
Commercial Director of the enlarged Group), Stephen Inglis (Research Director)
and John St Clair Roberts (Medical Director) joined the enlarged Xenova Group
Board as executive directors. Gerard Fairtlough (non-executive Director) also
joined the Xenova Group Board.  Simon Duffy, Jeremy Curnock Cook and Michael
Redmond resigned as non-executive directors from the Cantab Board and Paul
Bevan resigned as a non-executive director of the Xenova Group following the
unconditional declaration of the merger. Following his recent acceptance of a
non-UK based role with another company, Simon Duffy will no longer be
non-executive Deputy Chairman of the enlarged Group.

Product Pipeline Update

Multi-drug resistance programme:  Positive interim data from the third and
final Phase IIa pharmacokinetic (PK) interaction study for XR9576 was
announced in February.  The study, in which XR9576 was given in combination
with vinorelbine (Navelbine) to patients with a variety of different cancer
types, confirmed that at the study dose level no clinically significant PK
interaction was observed.   Positive responses in several of the patients in
the study have been obtained, giving additional anecdotal evidence of
efficacy.  Full results of this study, along with a further poster giving
details of the paclitaxel study in ovarian patients, results of which were
announced in summary format in March 2000, will be presented at the American
Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting on 12 May.

The successful results from the first of the three Phase IIa trials, in which
XR9576 was administered in combination with the cytotoxic drug doxorubicin,
were announced in October 2000.

The series of three trials of XR9576 with paclitaxel, doxorubicin and
vinorelbine was designed to assess the extent of PK interaction, if any,
between XR9576 and leading examples of important different classes of marketed
cytotoxics and to look for anecdotal signs of efficacy.

The Company has been in discussions with the FDA in the US and with a number
of regulatory agencies in Europe with respect to the further development of
this compound.  Licensing discussions in relation to XR9576 are currently
underway with a number of potential marketing partners.

Dual topoisomerase inhibition cytotoxic programme: As announced in February
2001, Xenova is now focusing its resources on the development of its second
generation topoisomerase inhibitor compounds, XR11576 and XR5944.  XR11576 is
a novel, orally active compound which has been undergoing final
pharmacological and toxicity testing prior to its planned entry into clinical
development.  XR5944, which is from a different structural class than XR11576,
has shown exceptionally high potency as a cytotoxic in preclinical studies
with a number of cell lines.  Both compounds have been shown to be unaffected
by atypical multi-drug resistance and each is covered by patents or patent
applications in all major markets.

As announced in February 2001, development was halted for a first generation
compound, known as XR5000.  The level of responses observed during a series of
four Phase II studies was judged unlikely to provide the compound with a
commercially attractive profile in the four tumour types studied.

Research and development continued successfully throughout the first quarter
for the enlarged Group's other programmes in cancer, infectious diseases and
addiction. A full update will be provided for all of the enlarged Group's
product development programmes at the time of the interim (Quarter 2) results
in August of this year.

The following financial results reflect the performance of Xenova prior to the
merger with Cantab, the merger having been completed after the end of the
first quarter.

Financial Summary - Operating expenses comprising £1,873,000 ($2,660,000)
(2000: £1,558,000 ($2,212,000)) of research and development costs and £480,000
($682,000) (2000: £446,000 ($633,000)) of administration expenses increased by
17% to £2,353,000 ($3,342,000) (2000: £2,004,000 ($2,846,000)) primarily due
to the continued activity in the clinical development of XR9576 and the
pre-clinical development of the second generation topoisomerase programme in
this first quarter.

The operating loss for the quarter to 31 March 2001 was £2,353,000
($3,342,000) (2000: £1,926,000 ($2,735,000)).

Net interest of £131,000 ($186,000) (2000: £149,000 ($212,000)) was received
in the quarter. Cash £6,570,000 ($9,329,000) (December 2000: £10,512,000
($14,927,000)) and liquid resources £1,535,000 ($2,180,000) (December 2000: £
1,721,000 ($2,444,000)) at the quarter end totalled £8,105,000 ($11,509,000)
(2000: £12,233,000 ($17,371,000)).

Following the changes introduced as part of the Finance Act 2000 in respect of
Scientific Research Allowances (now renamed 'Research and Development
Allowances'), since April

2000 the Group has recognised the receivable R&D tax credit. The amount
recognised in the quarter to 31 March 2001 (£231,000  ($328,000)) is expected
to be received in 2002.

Increased capital expenditure during the quarter of £807,000 ($1,146,000)
(2000: £14,000 ($20,000)) mainly included equipment and refit costs associated
with preparation for relocation of the Group's Slough operations to new leased
premises. This relocation is scheduled to take place in the second quarter of
the current financial year.

Called up shares at 31 March 2001 were 69,253,305. The Directors do not
recommend the payment of a dividend.

Merger with Cantab:

It was announced on 19 February 2001, that Xenova had agreed terms for a
merger with Cantab.  Subsequent to the quarter end, on the 6 April 2001, the
Group announced that the merger had become unconditional in all respects.

Under the terms of the merger, 11 shares in Xenova were issued to Cantab
shareholders in exchange for 7 shares held in Cantab, valuing Cantab at £34.2m
on 5 April 2001. At 31 December 2000 the unaudited net assets of Cantab were
approximately £28.4m, Cantab having reported a net loss of £3.9m for the year
to December 2000.

Cash and liquid investments for Xenova at 31 March 2001 were £8,105,000
($11,509,000) and for Cantab were £16,822,000 ($23,887,000), resulting in a
pro forma cash and liquid investments position for the enlarged Group of £
24,927,000 ($35,396,000).

Integration of the two companies is well underway and it is expected that
significant cost efficiencies will be achieved through consolidation of the
head office functions.



Xenova Group plc                                   Financial Dynamics
Tel: +44 (0) 1753 706600                           Tel: +44(0) 207 831 3113
David Oxlade: Chief Executive Officer              David Yates
Daniel Abrams: Finance Director
Hilary Reid Evans: Corporate Communications

Notes to Editors

Following the merger with Cantab, Xenova Group plc's substantial product
pipeline focuses principally on the therapeutic areas of cancer, infectious
diseases and addiction.  The Group has a well-established track record in the
identification, development and partnering of innovative products and
technologies.  Currently, major products under development include:


XR9576 (Phase IIa clinical trials) - a P-gp pump inhibitor which is designed
to combat multi-drug resistance in cancer.

TA-HPV (Phase II clinical trials) - an immunotherapeutic vaccine, designed to
prevent the recurrence of cervical cancer.

TA-CIN (Phase I clinical trials) - a recombinant fusion protein, designed as a
treatment for women with cervical dysplasia.

DISC-GMCSF (Phase I clinical trials) - an immunotherapeutic vaccine designed
as a treatment for a broad range of solid tumours.

XR11576 - (Pre-clinical development) - a dual topoisomerase I and II
inhibitor, designed as an orally administrable cytotoxic.

Infectious Diseases

TA-HSV (Phase II clinical trials) - a vaccine designed for the treatment of
recurrent genital herpes, partnered with GlaxoSmithKline.

DISC-PRO ((Phase I clinical trials complete) - a prophylactic vaccine designed
for the prevention of genital and oro-labial herpes.


TA-CD (Phase IIa complete) - a vaccine for the treatment of cocaine addiction.

TA-NIC (Pre-clinical development) - a vaccine designed as a treatment for
nicotine dependence.

The Group has partnerships with a number of major pharmaceutical companies
including Glaxo SmithKline, Lilly, Pfizer and Celltech.

For further information about Xenova and its products please visit the Xenova
website at

Safe Harbor Statement under the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995: Some or all of the statements in this document that relate to future
plans, expectations, events, performances and the like are forward-looking
statements, as defined in the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995.  Actual results of events could differ materially from those described
in the forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, including those
set forth in the Company's filings with the US Securities and Exchange

Consolidated Statement of Operations (unaudited)

                                                                 Three months 
                                                                ended 31 March

                                                      2001     2001        2000
                                                    $'000*    £'000       £'000

                                                     _____    _____       _____

Turnover                                                 -        -          78

Operating expenses

Research and development                           (2,660)  (1,873)     (1,558)

Administrative                                       (682)    (480)       (446)

                                                     _____    _____       _____

Total operating expenses                           (3,342)  (2,353)     (2,004)

                                                     _____    _____       _____

Operating loss                                     (3,342)  (2,353)     (1,926)

Loss on sale of business:
Adjustment to Discovery consideration                (264)    (186)           -

                                                     _____    _____       _____

Loss on ordinary activities before interest        (3,606)  (2,539)     (1,926)

Interest (net)                                         186      131         149

                                                     _____    _____       _____

Loss on ordinary activities before taxation        (3,420)  (2,408)     (1,777)

Tax on loss on ordinary activities (R&D tax            328      231           -
                                                     _____    _____       _____

Loss on ordinary activities after taxation         (3,092)  (2,177)     (1,777)

attributable to members of Xenova Group plc         ______    _____       _____

Loss per share (basic and diluted)                    (4c)     (3p)        (3p)

Shares used in computing net loss per share         69,251   69,251      54,726
                                                     _____    _____       _____

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet (unaudited)

                                                  31 March 31 March 31 December
                                                      2001     2001        2000
                                                    $'000*    £'000       £'000

                                                     _____    _____       _____

Cash and investments                                11,509    8,105      12,233
Other current assets                                 1,835    1,292       1,510
Fixed assets                                         2,779    1,957         543

                                                     _____    _____       _____

Total assets                                        16,123   11,354      14,286

                                                     _____    _____      ______

Current liabilities                                  2,323    1,636       2,410
Shareholders' equity                                13,800    9,718      11,876

                                                     _____    _____       _____

Total liabilities and shareholders' equity          16,123   11,354      14,286

                                                     _____    _____       _____

*US dollar amounts have been translated at £1.00 - $1.42 solely for
informational purposes

Basis of preparation

These unaudited quarterly statements which do not constitute statutory
accounts, within the meaning of s240 of the Companies Act 1985, have been
prepared using accounting policies set out in the Group's 2000 Statutory
Accounts. The 2000 accounts received an unqualified auditors report. There
have been no changes to the Group's accounting policies in 2001.


a d v e r t i s e m e n t