CALGARY, AB, --- October 29, 2003 - Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (“Oncolytics”) (TSX:ONC, NASDAQ:ONCY) announced today that support for multiple clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of REOLYSIN® in a range of cancers has been approved by the Drug Development Group of the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, U.S. National Cancer Institute (“NCI”).
The NCI approved REOLYSIN® for collaborative development after an analysis of preclinical, GLP toxicology and clinical data. Oncolytics and the NCI will collaborate to select cancer indications and suitable development programs for a number of clinical trials. Oncolytics will provide REOLYSIN® for all clinical trials conducted and sponsored by the NCI under a Clinical Trials Agreement.
“We are pleased to collaborate with the National Cancer Institute to more broadly explore the potential of REOLYSIN®,” said Dr. Bradley Thompson, President and CEO of Oncolytics. “This agreement will allow us to further evaluate the clinical utilization of REOLYSIN® using different routes of administration and in combination with current standard therapies.”
About the National Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Institute is an agency of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of eight agencies that compose the Public Health Service (PHS) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The NCI, established under the National Cancer Act of 1937, is the U.S. Federal Government's principal agency for cancer research and training.
About Oncolytics Biotech Inc.
Oncolytics is a Calgary-based biotechnology company focused on the development of REOLYSIN®, its proprietary formulation of the human reovirus, as a potential cancer therapeutic. Oncolytics’ researchers have demonstrated that the reovirus is able to selectively kill human cancer cells in vitro that are derived from many types of cancer, including breast, prostate, pancreatic and brain tumours, and have also demonstrated successful cancer treatment results in a number of animal models. Phase I clinical trial results have indicated that there were no toxicology-related issues with the administration of the reovirus, and that the reovirus demonstrated activity in tumours injected with REOLYSIN®.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements, including the Company’s expectations related to the success and benefits of the collaboration with NCI and the Company’s belief as to the potential of REOLYSIN® as a cancer therapeutic, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the availability of funds and resources to pursue Research and Development projects, the efficacy of REOLYSIN® as a cancer treatment, the success and timely completion of clinical studies and trials, the Company’s ability to successfully commercialize REOLYSIN®, uncertainties related to the research and development of pharmaceuticals, uncertainties related to the regulatory process and general changes to the economic environment. Investors should consult the Company’s quarterly and annual filings with the Canadian and U.S. securities commissions for additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to the forward looking statements. Investors are cautioned against placing undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update these forward-looking statements.