Calgary, AB, November 10, 2000 --- Oncolytics Biotech Inc.(TSE: ONC) reported today that Dr. Peter Forsyth and his research group at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, Alberta presented the results of their work with REOLYSIN® for the treatment of malignant gliomas, a specific type of brain tumour. The results were presented today in Chicago at the Society for Neuro-Oncology.
Dr. Forsyth and his colleagues were able to demonstrate in an athymic mouse model that REOLYSIN® treatment of intracerebral tumours resulted in dramatic extension of life. In one set of investigations, 82% of treated animals were alive at 90 days at which point the experiment was terminated. Animals not receiving REOLYSIN® treatment experienced a median survival of 48 days. Further, no side effects of the therapy were observed in the REOLYSIN® treated animals.
"These results underscore our commitment to examining the efficacy of this treatment in a broad variety of human cancer indications", said Dr. Matt Coffey, Vice President, Product Development. "We are gratified that through our various collaborations we are able to better demonstrate the potential effectiveness of this treatment in various and increasingly complex animal models. We are also pleased to be able to present this important work to an international audience."
Oncolytics is a Calgary-based biotechnology company whose focus is the development of the reovirus known as REOLYSIN® as a potential cancer therapeutic. The mammalian reovirus infects and kills cancer cells with an activated Ras pathway. Ras is an important component of a pathway controlling normal growth and differentiation of a cell, and when activated, may account for a large proportion of all human tumors. Researchers believe that targeting this pathway could have broad potential in the treatment of many cancers. Oncolytics researchers demonstrated that reovirus was selectively able to kill cancer cells with this particular activation and successfully demonstrated that the virus could kill human cancer cells in vitro derived from breast, prostate, pancreatic and brain tumors, as well as being able to treat tumors successfully in a number of animal models. Oncolytics initiated its Phase I clinical trial on REOLYSIN® in June 2000.
This release contains certain forward-looking statements which involve known and unknown risks, delays, uncertainties and other factors not under the Company's control which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from the results, performance or expectations implied by these forward-looking statements.