Antisoma plc

Antisoma in-licenses telomerase inhibitor programme from Cancer Research Technology

    London, UK (ots) - Antisoma plc, (LSE: ASM; Nasdaq Europe: ASOM) the biopharmaceutical company specialising in novel anti-cancer drugs, today announces that it has in-licensed a programme of telomerase inhibitors from Cancer Research Technology Ltd, the technology transfer arm of the charity Cancer Research UK.  This programme was developed by Professor Stephen Neidle, working first at the Institute of Cancer Research and more recently at the University of London School of Pharmacy. Under the licensing agreement, Antisoma has obtained rights to a number of existing molecules and an option on further telomerase inhibitors generated by Professor Neidle's group over the next three years.

    Telomeres are the protective regions found at the ends of chromosomes (the structures into which the genetic material, DNA, is packaged in each cell of the human body).  In normal cells, telomeres act as a 'life clock', shortening slightly each time the cell divides. Once the telomeres fall below a critical length, the cell undergoes the self-destruct process known as apoptosis or programmed cell death. This is part of the natural process of cellular ageing and removal of old cells to be replaced by new ones. Cancer cells make an enzyme called telomerase that allows them to maintain their telomeres at a length just sufficient to avoid entering the self-destruct pathway. Telomerase thus enables cancer cells to divide continually and indefinitely, a property fundamental to the progression of the disease. By blocking the action of this enzyme, telomerase inhibitors can prevent the maintenance of telomeres and force cancer cells into apoptosis.

    Glyn Edwards, CEO of Antisoma, said 'Telomerase inhibitors have the potential for broad application against both solid and blood cancers because the telomerase enzyme is important to all types of cancer cell. This programme is an excellent addition to our preclinical portfolio.'

    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.

    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 signed a ground-breaking collaboration agreement with Roche to develop and commercialise products from Antisoma's pipeline. Please visit www.antisoma.com for further information.

    About Cancer Research Technology Limited

    Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT) is a specialist technology transfer company which aims to develop new discoveries in cancer research for the benefit of cancer patients. CRT is wholly owned by Cancer Research UK, the largest independent funder of cancer research in the world. CRT works closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. CRT facilitates the discovery, development and marketing of new cancer therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics and enabling technologies.

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

ots Originaltext: Antisoma PLC
Internet: www.newsaktuell.ch

Contact:
Antisoma plc
Glyn Edwards,
Chief Executive Officer
Tel. +44/20 8799 8200

Financial Dynamics
Jonathan Birt                
Tel. +44/20 7831 3113



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