Antisoma slips back to red ahead of expected Sportingbet deal

Cancer drug developer Antisoma saw a return to the red at its half-year report statement, reporting a 30,000 pound loss after tax.

Cancer drug developer Antisoma saw a return to the red at its half-year report statement, reporting a 30,000 pound loss after tax.

This compares to profits of £424,000 for the full year, reported last October, when the group restructured its activities to become an investment company.

Antisoma made its first major deal as an investment company in the most recent trading period, via an agreement to subscribe to up to £4.0m in new shares proposed for issuance by GVC Holdings. This is in connection with GVC's recommended offer, alongside William Hill, for Sportingbet.

Confirmation on the size of Antisoma's holding in GVC is expected on March 31st.

In the half year to December 31st, Antisoma continued to cut costs, and is now sitting on £12.88m in cash, and short term deposit balances of £9.48m.

Antisoma previously focused on cancer therapy development, but suffered a blow in early 2011 when both its drugs failed in final-stage trials. The group then stopped all its drugs development programmes in an effort to save cash, ahead of the restructuring.

Chairman Michael Bretherton was cautiously optimistic in his outlook for the company, pointing to the troubles in the general economy.

Still, he believes Antisoma's strong cash position and low cost base are encouraging: "This places the company in a good position to exploit opportunities as they emerge in the current volatile economic environment. We will therefore continue to maintain a highly selective investment approach."

JF

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