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Antisoma buys licence for potential cancer drug

Antisoma has acquired the licence to a new drug that has the potential to become a cancer treatment for an undisclosed sum of money, the company revealed on April 14
Antisoma has acquired the licence to a new drug that has the potential to become a cancer treatment for an undisclosed sum of money, the company revealed on April 14.

The London-based pharmaceutical company has traded on its strong cash position to acquire the rights from Betagenon to continue developing AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK) technologies. A licensing deal with Novartis helped stabilise Antisoma's cash balance ($125m in the bank) during a period when companies are experiencing purse tightening caused by the credit crunch.

Reuters reported that the company's chief executive officer, Glynn Edwards, would not reveal the terms of the deal and that it would not have a significant impact on Antisoma's finances. He also told Reuters that the company just happens, by great luck, to be entering this really difficult economic climate with a really strong balance sheet.

Glynn Edwards, Antisoma's chief executive officer, said: "Betagenon's AMPK activators are another promising addition to our preclinical oncology portfolio."

The new drug in development activates AMPK enzymes, which can halt the growth of cancer cells. AMPK technology has already been used to target and treat type II diabetes.

Olof Karlsson, chief executive officer of Betagenon, said: "We are confident that we have chosen a partner with the ability to advance our promising compounds rapidly and effectively in cancer."

14th April 2008

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