Antisoma of the UK says that has raised approximately £26.3 million, before expenses, through an oversubscribed placing of almost 74 million new shares.

The company said that the new funds will be ploughed into developing the company’s pipeline, especially a compound called AS1404, which is being prepared for Phase III development in lung cancer following positive Phase II data. It is also being studied through ongoing Phase II studies, “which have generated positive initial data in prostate and ovarian cancers,” the company added.

The other treatments in Antisoma’s pipeline are AS1411, which will go into Phase II trials in renal cancer and acute myelogenous leukaemia, AS1409 (Phase I in renal cancer and melanoma) and AS1402, which is being prepared - “resources permitting” - for Phase II studies in breast cancer.

Obviously AS1404 is the most important compound at the moment, and Antisoma said it is currently in talks with a number of companies with a view to licensing the marketing rights.

“The directors believe Antisoma is in a strong position to conclude an attractive licensing deal given the wealth of clinical data supporting AS1404 and the advanced stage of development of the drug,” the firm said, and concluding such a deal “is the company’s top priority for the immediate future.”