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Antisoma licenses rights to develop Betagenon’s AMPK activators as cancer treatments


London, UK, and Umea, Sweden, April 2008 – Cancer drug developer Antisoma (LSE: ASM; USOTC:ATSMY) and Betagenon, a privately held Swedish biotechnology company, today announce that Antisoma has licensed rights to develop and commercialise Betagenon’s AMPK (AMP activated protein kinase) activators in cancer indications.

Betagenon has developed a series of small molecules that activate AMPK. AMPK is best known as a target in diabetes. Betagenon has shown that AMPK activators also have significant potential in cancer treatment, and has established a leading position in this novel application of the drugs.

Antisoma plans to continue the preclinical evaluation of AMPK activators from Betagenon’s pipeline. The two companies have also formed a collaboration to explore further the potential of AMPK-based approaches to cancer treatment.

Antisoma will make an immediate upfront payment and fund certain research at Betagenon. Further payments will be made on achievement of development and regulatory milestones, and royalties will be paid on any sales of compounds resulting from the collaboration.

Betagenon’s Chief Executive Officer, Olof Karlsson, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Antisoma on our AMPK programme. We are confident that we have chosen a partner with the ability to advance our promising compounds rapidly and effectively in cancer.”

Antisoma’s Chief Executive Officer, Glyn Edwards, said: “Betagenon’s AMPK activators are another promising addition to our preclinical oncology portfolio. They fit with our strategy of acquiring a diverse range of novel and class-leading preclinical compounds with potential to add value to our clinical pipeline in the future.”


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