Antisoma buys Xanthus for $52M

Looking to boost its pipeline, the U.K.'s Antisoma is paying $52 million for Boston oncology company Xanthus Pharmaceutical. Antisoma gains three drug candidates:

  • Xanafide, which is in Phase III trial in secondary acute myeloid leukemia,
  • Oral fludarabine, which has been submitted to the FDA for marketing approval for the second-line treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and
  • the Flt3 program, which is in preclinical testing for non-oncology indications. Antisoma says it may out-license this drug.

The deal lessens Antisoma's dependence on ASA404, a non-small cell lung cancer treatment. Last year the company announced it would pit the drug against Roche and Genentech's Avastin in a late-stage trial. Glyn Edwards, CEO of Antisoma, said: "This is a transforming deal. Combining Antisoma and Xanthus produces a company with the critical mass and mature pipeline needed to become a major player in oncology."

- here's the release on the deal
- read the MarketWatch article for more