Calgary, AB, November 24, 2000 --- Dr. Brad Thompson, President and C.E.O. of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (TSE: ONC) reported today that there are no recent or anticipated events within the company that would account for the recent decline in the share price of Oncolytics.
"While general market conditions over the last few days have reduced the share price of many Biotech companies, Oncolytics continues to meet its objectives and progress in the development of its products", said Dr. Thompson. "Our Phase I human trial for REOLYSIN® as a cancer treatment is progressing well. We are pleased with the enrolment and progress to date. Our primary focus continues to be the development of the REOLYSIN® for human use."
In addition, the development of a product utilizing the reovirus for use as a potential cancer treatment in animals was given a tremendous boost with the November 20, 2000 announcement outlining Pfizer's undertaking to proceed with the testing and development for the veterinary market.
"The separation of the human and veterinary markets is expected to give us the best potential for timely development of both, and the broadest possible interest in partnering for the development of REOLYSIN® for human use."
Oncolytics is a Calgary-based biotechnology company whose focus is the development of the reovirus as a potential cancer therapeutic. The 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 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 human 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.