Antisoma shares were up 5% on the news that a late-stage trial of an investigational lung cancer drug has completed enrolment.

The company, which has offices in London and Boston, said that partner Novartis’ ATTRACT-1 Phase III trial of ASA404 (vadimezan) in non-small cell lung cancer has reached its enrolment target of 1,200 patients. Glyn Edwards, Antisoma's chief executive, said the Swiss major “has done an excellent job in rapidly completing recruitment into this very large trial [and] we can now be even more confident that the results will be available in time to support potential marketing applications in 2011.

ASA404 is a tumour-vascular disrupting agent and Novartis secured the rights to the drug in 2007 in a deal that could bring in up to $890 million for Antisoma. The latter has an option to co-market the treatment with Novartis in the USA.

A Phase II trial in patients receiving first-line treatment for NSCLC showed that addition of ASA404 to carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy improved survival by five months. Novartis is also investigating the drug's potential as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer.